Does anyone have a piece of longform journalism that really stuck with you for a long time after you read it, particularly for being a well-written narrative as opposed to something shocking?

I'm looking for examples of really good non-book-length nonfiction storytelling.

@derwinmcgeary @eleanorkonik

I’ll second this. I read this story five years ago and it has stuck with me since.

Not just in the memorable narrative sense but in practice—I have made it a habit to always take a quick glance at the back seat before exiting a car, regardless of how sure I am that there is no child in the seat.

Same whenever I walk by parked cars.

links to writing about cryptocurrency, racist violence, the midwest 

@eleanorkonik a handful that came to mind:

this one does contain shocking things, but i was mostly struck by how clear it made that this all happened in living memory in a real place:

this one firmly in "essay" territory rather than journalism:

@eleanorkonik I'm not sure if this is something you'd consider journalism since there's not really a human subjects, but it's enthralling.

I also love and find amazingly well written everything by Dr. Janega.

There was a wonderful blogger who would write about social class, economic class, and the psychology of it. It was very distinctive, purple on purple. Search engines are too polluted to find again =(

@bipolaron non-human subjects is great, I love Atlas Obscura for example. If there's a better word for that let me know!

@eleanorkonik Hey! Someone else posted a link to another post by the same author so I found it again and now I am on their patreon 🙂

It's waaaay too late to matter but was what I was thinking of from years ago, and a whole bunch of their other posts are fantastic.

@eleanorkonik Jon Ronson has always been great at that sort of thing. Check out this piece he wrote for the Guardian back in 2001 (which was later included in his book, “Out Of the Ordinary”):

@eleanorkonik If not "non-book length", I'd wholeheartedly recommend anything by Kapuściński, and "The Emperor" in the first place.

@eleanorkonik I suppose it depends on if you consider trying to test the limits of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizer's promotion "shocking," but this and almost anything Caity Weaver writes are great

@srol I don't mind if the article involves shocking information, just, I'm looking for stuff written in a genuinely skilled and compelling way moreso than "I remember this because it's about a crane that fell in love with a human!" (which I remember more because of the wtfery of it all)


What a great question!

I found "Bad Blood" by John Carreyrou about the Theranos saga incredibly engaging (at times shocking in that "they really did that? holy shit!" way), but also really well-written, meticulously researched and easy to follow.

Before he turned it into a book, Carreyrou originally broke the Theranos story in a series of articles for the WSJ which I haven't read, but which I suspect are similarly excellent.

The first thing that came to mind was the first long form article I read on Stuxnet. But I don't know where I read this anymore, and can't find it. Besides, I think I enjoyed this mostly because of the content, not because of the good writing.

The second thing that came to mind is Damn Interesting. This is not a article, but a podcast. They tell interesting stories from history. Here I believe the quality of writing (even if it's a bit sensationalist at times) really adds to the stories. But the stories themself are always incredible too.

@eleanorkonik Oof, there's a lot of them. But the one that came to mind first is this:
It's such an amazing article about different ways of living and percieving things that even I, as a blind person, had not considered.


cw: child death
in which Texas executed a man convicted of homicide (arson), based on antiquated understanding of how arson works. Thoroughly researched, beautifully written, read it when it was published, unforgettable.

@eleanorkonik Also, this is basically what does all day, if you don't already know.

child poverty 

@eleanorkonik Myths Over Miami by Lynda Edwards in the Miami New Times, June 5, 1997. It's about the folklore that developed among homeless children.

child poverty 

@eleanorkonik I first read this when I was a teenager, I think, and I found it fascinating and spooky, admiring how the kids came up with these stories amidst such hardships. I went back to it as an (older) adult and it was a totally different article than the one in my head, leaving me just sad and angry that children have to endure such misery in the first place.

@eleanorkonik I recall "The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist", it almost reads like a novel.


this highline piece about what gun violence really and truly does always comes up when i hear about mass shootings that make the news in the USA, even though i don't live there

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