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A Smattering of Longreads from 2012 That Are Just Neat

I did this last year, so why not do it again? 2012 was a great year for reading long things in magazines and on websites that are neat, so here—in no particular order—are a few things that I found neat enough that I remembered them when I decided to make a list of neat things to read that are also long.

"Portait of the Artist as a Postman" by Jason Sheeler, Texas Monthly

Want to read about a reclusive artist who’s a postman and designs in-demand scarves for Hermes? This is the story for you.

"Tinkers to Evers to Chance…to Me" by Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated

This one combines baseball and familial lore into one story that’s really got all the things you could want out of a story about either baseball family.

"Marathon Man" by Mark Singer, The New Yorker

Finding out why a man would cheat at a marathon is just as interesting as finding out how he does it.

"The Truce on Drugs" by Ben Wallace-Wells, New York

Sure, Colorado and Washington state have legalized it, but what does that really mean? A great example of how the more things change the more things stay the same.

"A Fighter Abroad" by Brian Phillips, Grantland

1810. A freed slave in England becomes a boxer. It will make a better movie than Django Unchained if handled correctly. After reading this, the only reason to remain frustrated about Grantland is that everything they do isn’t as good as this.

"The Throwaways" by Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

About how young drug offenders wind up becoming police informants and have a strange habit of turning up dead. One of the those pieces that’s so great you don’t notice how it’s broken your heart until well after you’re done reading it.

"This Land is My Land" by Tony Rehagen, Atlanta Magazine

An amiable relationship between two old men turns sour over a land dispute. One of them ends up dead and the two families start a feud. A fascinating look at an extreme example of being stubborn.

"18 Tigers, 17 Lions, 8 Bears, 3 Cougars, 2 Wolves, 1 Baboon, 1 Macaque, and 1 Man Dead in Ohio" by Chris Heath, GQ

 This story came out the same day as one on the same subject by Chris Jones in Esquire. What was lost in the ensuing conniption CJ threw—and possibly the source of it—is that Heath’s version is just plain better.

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