The Wagon and Other Stories from the City

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Apr 15, 2010 - True Crime - 176 pages
1 Review

Martin Preib is an officer in the Chicago Police Department—a beat cop whose first assignment as a rookie policeman was working on the wagon that picks up the dead. Inspired by Preib’s daily life on the job, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City chronicles the outer and inner lives of both a Chicago cop and the city itself.

The book follows Preib as he transports body bags, forges an unlikely connection with his female partner, trains a younger officer, and finds himself among people long forgotten—or rendered invisible—by the rest of society. Preib recounts how he navigates the tenuous labyrinths of race and class in the urban metropolis, such as a domestic disturbance call involving a gang member and his abused girlfriend or a run-in with a group of drunk yuppies. As he encounters the real and imagined geographies of Chicago, the city reveals itself to be not just a backdrop, but a central force in his narrative of life and death. Preib’s accounts, all told in his breathtaking prose, come alive in ways that readers will long remember.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LTFL_JMLS - LibraryThing

Really liked this one. Lots of it took place not only in Chicago, but in Rogers Park, right around where I live. It took me a while to get into it and to appreciate the introspective style, but I ... Read full review


Body Bags
The Wagon
The Chorus
Studio Apartments
City Limits
Essential Services
Single Room Occupancy

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Martin Preib is an officer with the Chicago Police Department. His essays have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review and Tin House.

Bibliographic information