Gazette columnist publishes ebook on mayoral race

January 31, 2014
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Author Chris Faraone will release an ebook of his Gazette columns covering the 2013 Boston mayoral race on Feb. 4.

The book, “Hizzonnaroo: The Fervent Fete and Street Fight to Replace a Boston Patriarch,” compiles all 32 of Faraone’s weekly “Politics as Unusual” columns and about 5,000 words of extra material, he told the Gazette.

“Covering the mayoral race for the Gazette was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had as a writer. It allowed me to use all of my reporting skills at once, hitting the street, interviewing, observing, polemicizing,” Faraone told the Gazette last week. “I felt it was especially important to have a hard-left accounting of the race all compiled in one place for any readers who want to see how this all happened in the wake of a much less progressive mayor like [Thomas] Menino.”

Faraone said that a highlight of writing his columns was “doing real journalism.”

“The Gazette holds a great deal of prestige on the mean political streets of Boston,” he said. “People in the know expect the Gazette to actually report on stories and not just to rewrite press releases. That’s rare these days.”

His preference for ebooks over traditional print books is due to his experiences with his first book, the Occupy movement overview “99 Nights with the 99 Percent,” he said.

“It did very well, but then it did so well that I got orders from independent bookstores all across the country. I serviced all of them, and am still owed thousands of dollars,” he said. “Everyone is always yammering on about supporting indie bookstores—and I get that—but a lot of those stores have no respect for independent authors. I have my issues with Amazon like most progressives, but they issue checks, and I need to pay rent.”

Gazette Editor John Ruch edited “Hizzonnaroo” and wrote an introduction.

“Chris is an outstanding community journalist, from his status as an esteemed chronicler of hip-hop culture to his groundbreaking camp-follower coverage of the Occupy movement,” he writes in his introduction. “The whole way [through the race], Faraone had his fingers on the pulse of the competition and set it racing with some major scoops.”

“Perhaps a handful of writers equaled him in their commitment to delving beneath the surface of the news to capture the usually inconvenient essence of a story—but none surpassed him,” WGBH News Senior Editor Peter Kadzis, Faraone’s former executive editor at The Boston Phoenix and a JP resident, writes in his introduction of “Hizzonnaroo.”

A former JP resident, Faraone moved to “a city right outside Boston” in October, he said. He declined to specify which city because he’s “had countless threats from Boston police officers over the years.”

While living in JP, Faraone was sharing quarters with “a whole bunch of creative roommates,” the only way he could afford to stay, he said,

“I’m somewhere I can afford to live like an adult with a little room to walk around,” he said. “Because of the prices, there are less and less housing situations like the one I had in JP.”

Faraone worked for the Boston Phoenix before it closed last March. He is now contributing editor at DigBoston and author of “99 Nights with the 99 Percent” and the recent “I Killed Breitbart.”

A “Hizzonnaroo” launch party will take place on Wed., Feb. 19 at Biddy Early’s at 141 Pearl St. For more information, see facebook.com/occupybook. The book will be available starting Feb. 4 on Amazon for the Kindle, iTunes for iBooks, and on Google’s Play Store.

Author Chris Faraone. (Photo by Aaron Spagnola)

Author Chris Faraone. (Photo by Aaron Spagnola)

The cover of “Hizzonnaroo.” (Courtesy Image)

The cover of “Hizzonnaroo.” (Courtesy Image)