Admired by generations of reporters, Gay Talese has for more than six decades enriched American journalism with an unmatched ability to inhabit the worlds of his subjects. From the long-form Esquire articles that germinated into his masterful books—including Honor Thy Father and Thy Neighbor's Wife—to indelible portraits like the canonical "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" and the recent, revealing account of avant-pop star Lady Gaga's studio session with the old-school crooner Tony Bennett, the pieces collected in High Notes are classics of the journalistic style Talese pioneered—"the art of hanging out," as he called it. It is a bold testament to his enduring talent for unparalleled cultural observation and impeccable literary craftsmanship.
"Gay Talese one again reminds us of the indefatigable reporting skills and inventive use of language that made him a paragon of the New Journalism."—New York Times Book Review
"High Notes contains all the reasons I've been teaching Gay Talese's work to my students at Yale for a decade, and all the reasons they love it. There are scenes described in such vivid detail you feel you're standing inside them; peripheral characters whom only Talese would care about and who are far more interesting than the ones in the center; details that no other writer would notice because no one has Talese's eyes and Talese's ears. This is glorious journalism."—Ann Fadiman, author of Ex Libris and At Large and At Small
"[A] career-spanning collection from Gay Talese, one of the country's greatest nonfiction writers . . . Hopping from personal recollections to mob stories to profiles about the New York Times newsroom and stars such as Frank Sinatra, High Notes consistently showcases Talese's keen eye for detail and insight into his subjects . . . once again a fly on the wall for the reader's enjoyment."—Shelf Awareness
"These pieces really amount to superb character studies that unfold less through journalistic quotation than through the novelistic accretion of well-observed details of action and setting. Talese gives readers real life raised to the level of high literature."—Publishers Weekly