Bank Notes: A Collection of Bank Robbery Notes

Looking for something a little different to read? I just ran across this brief review/recommendation by Jonah Weiner, pop critic of Slate, of an unusual book from 2009:

Bank Notes: A Collection of Bank Robbery Notes compiles the work of the country’s highest-paid writers: self-published, anonymous scribes who can command upward of $1,800 a word. They’re bank robbers who pass notes to tellers, forgoing weapons in their holdups. As anthologized by Ken  Habarta—who reprints the notes alongside security-camera shots, available details of the robberies, and icons indicating the jobs’ success or failure—these thieves are practitioners of a fascinating, urgent literature. What other writing seeks to do so much in such little space, and with so much at stake? There’s unlikely poetry: “No die,” one note goes, a reference to anti-theft dye-packs that doubles as a chilling threat. (Success.) There’s blunt, utilitarian prose: “Give me a thousand dollars and don’t fuck up.” (Busted.) There’s black comedy: “I have amtrak,” a thief writes, likely meaning anthrax. (I won’t spoil that one.) Some robbers look unremarkable. Others wear painter’s masks or fake moustaches. The information provided is bare-boned, but every page is a gripping mini-drama.

( Source: – This is a collection of review/recommendations by Slate editors & writers. They’re a varied bunch; if you don’t like one, you’re bound to find another that piques your interest.)


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