Swierczynski, Duane 1972(?)–
Swierczynski, Duane 1972(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1972; married, wife's name Meredith.
ADDRESSES: Home—Philadelphia, PA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, St. Martin's Press, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia, PA, editor-in-chief.
This Here's a Stick-Up: The Big Bad Book of American Bank Robbery, Alpha Books (Indianapolis, IN), 2002.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Frauds, Scams, and Cons, Alpha Books (Indianapolis, IN), 2003.
(With H. Keith Melton and Craig M. Piligian) The Spy's Guide: Office Espionage; How to Bug a Meeting, Booby-Trap Your Briefcase, Infiltrate the Competition, and More, Quirk Books (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.
The Big Book o' Beer: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Greatest Beverage on Earth, Quirk Books (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
The Encyclopedia of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, 1950 to Present, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2004.
The Wheelman (novel), St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Duane Swierczynski is the author of several nonfiction books, including The Big Book o' Beer: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Greatest Beverage on Earth. Not a resource of microbrews, this is a history and collection of trivia that covers topics like strange beer flavors, drinking songs, label art, and hangovers. Included are photographs of vintage beer cans and drinking mugs and funnels. A Publishers Weekly described the volume as a "visually captivating compendium."
Swierczynski's first book is about robbing banks, as is his first novel, The Wheelman. Lennon, the Irish immigrant protagonist of the latter, is actually not a bank robber but the driver of the getaway car. He has been lucky so far, but his luck runs out when the car he and his accomplices are escaping in flips after being hit by a van. When he wakes up in a trash bag, minus his clothing, he is helped by two college students, Andy and Mikal (the son of a Russian mobster), as well as by Katie, with whom he converses in Gaelic. Keir Graff wrote in Booklist that the "cartoonishly violent" book "is a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in an R-rated amusement park."
Swierczynski, who is editor-in-chief of the Philadelphia City Paper, was interviewed by Lori Hill for Secret Dead Blog, Swierczynski said he drew on his research for both This Here's a Stick-Up: The Big Bad Book of American Bank Robbery and The Encyclopedia of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, 1950 to Present in writing his novel. For the latter, he had communicated with bank robber Patrick Michael Mitchell. On the list and serving time in Leavenworth, Mitchell is among those robbers who first used masks of presidents in committing their crimes. For This Here's a Stick-Up, Swierczynski planned a robbery of his own Philadelphia bank, the Wachovia. Swierczynski told Hill that casing his own bank "was a good exercise, fun to do. And I had a really detailed getaway plan and it worked, and I've actually driven it, broken a few laws doing it."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Libraries, October, 2005, Bill Ott, review of The Wheelman, p. 84.
Booklist, September 1, 2005, Keir Graff, review of The Wheelman, p. 71.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2005, review of The Wheelman, p. 945.
Publishers Weekly, May 17, 2004, review of The Big Book o' Beer: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Greatest Beverage on Earth, p. 48; September 5, 2005, review of The Wheelman, p. 39.
Secret Dead Blog, http://secretdead.blogspot.com/ (January 11, 2006), Lori Hill, interview with Swierczynski.