What Isaac Asimov and HBO’s The Wire have in common

Answer: a book.

HBOs series The Wire was one which I never watched when it originally aired. But since I’ve had HBOGO, I’ve been watching the episodes. This evening, I was watching Season 3, Episode 11 and made a rather startling discovery. To explain, you have to understand a few things:

  1. I have read Isaac Asimov’s autobiography at least a dozen times and would recognize the hard covers anywhere.
  2. If I see a bookshelf anywhere, I am compelled to look at what is on it. I do this in stores that use the books for decoration, and anywhere else I see books.

There’s a scene in this episode of The Wire where the detectives are exploring Stringer Bell’s apartment after he’s been gunned down. McNaulty turns to look at the books on a bookshelf. Here is what I saw as I watched the show (screen captured via my iPad):


Take a look at the very first book on the shelf, just above McNaulty’s head. I would recognize that book a mile away. On my iPad, the video quality was HD and when I paused it I could read the title. The screen capture isn’t as clear, but I’ve taken a picture of the book on my shelf so you can see for yourself:


Yes, that’s right. It’s the same book. The first volume of Isaac Asimov’s 2-volume autobiography, In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov 1920-1954. See for yourself. Look at first picture and then look at the book on my shelf. There’s no mistaking it and if you watch the episode in HD, you can read the title.

Pretty cool, eh?


  1. Well, I guess we know the writers of the Wire are sci-fi geeks too. 😉

    Isn’t it an awesome show though? Season 3 is fantastic…season 4 will blow your mind, it’s so good!

    1. Eric, I wouldn’t call it “awesome”. It is my least favorite of all the HBO series I’ve watched so far, but having said that it is entertaining and the writing is good. And it’s cool to see a show set in “Ballmer” (as they say). Maybe I’ll change my mind with season 4.


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