The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop

The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop

Written by jack_miller | Published 2 months ago

With 269 ratings

By: Steve Osborne and Random House Audio

Purchased At: $12.99

"How ya doin?"

With these four syllables, delivered in an unmistakably authentic New York accent, Steve Osborne has riveted thousands of people through the legendary storytelling outfit The Moth (and more than a million times on their website) with his hilarious, profane, and touching tales from his 20 years serving as an NYPD street cop. Steve Osborne is the real deal, people, the tough, streetwise New York cop of your dreams, one with a big, big heart. Kojak? NYPD Blue? Law & Order? Fuggedaboutem! The Job blows them out of the water with this unpauseable book.

Steve Osborne has seen a thing or two in his 20 years in the NYPD - some harmless things, some definitely not. In "Stakeout" Steve and his partner mistake a Manhattan dentist for an armed robbery suspect and reduce the man down to a puddle of snot and tears when questioning him. In "Mug Shot" the mother of a suspected criminal makes a strange request and provides a sobering reminder of the humanity at stake in his profession. And in "Home" the image of his family provides the adrenaline he needs to fight for his life when assaulted by two armed and violent crackheads. From his days as a rookie cop to the time spent patrolling in the Anti-Crime Unit - and his visceral, harrowing recollections of working during 9/11 - Steve Osborne's stories capture both the absurdity of police work and the bravery of those who do it. His stories will speak to those nostalgic for the New York City of the 1980s and '90s, a bygone era of when the city was a crazier, more dangerous (and possibly more interesting) place.

Includes two live stories from The Moth - "Hot Dogs" and "Dentist".

Stories from The Moth courtesy of The Moth.

Anyone worried about policing in America today should take the time to read this moving and funny book. Osborne is doubtlessly one of the best who have worn the badge; but in other ways, he gives you a realistic account of what everyday policing is like in one of the most challenging urban settings in America. He also conveys the mindset of those who do this work: why they are committed to "The Job," how they view the range of criminals they encounter (many of them small-time crooks who Osborne can view with a degree of compassion, even as he's slamming them against the pavement), how they maintain their cool and their sanity, and how they find humor in the strange situations they find themselves in. Osborne does not expect his superiors or the public he works among to understand why he does what he does in the way he does, but he knows what he has to do, and throughout his career he manages to take down bad guys without shooting any of them. In this he shows humility, focus, and great resourcefulness. Many of his stories are hilarious, and others are heartbreaking, but on the whole he gives us an optimistic account not only of policing in America but also of human nature.

- jesus_baker

I came across this book quite by accident and talk about serendipitous good fortune! The wife had C-Span's Book TV on the tube. They were broadcasting from a Methodist church in Savannah as part of the city's annual book festival. When Steve Osborne stepped to the pulpit, er podium, I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was blown away. He's the real deal -- from his Noo Yawk accent to his beat cop intensity -- but you can't judge a book by its cover or an author by his. Osborne is engaging, articulate, and funny as hell. The man speaks from the heart and, as you might expect, he has seen more than his fair share of serious s***, but here's the deal. You would think that constantly seeing people at their worst and in the worst of situations would suck your soul right out of your body, but Osborne writes with a humanity and empathy that is compelling and moving. To be our "best selves" on our "worst days" is a high bar to which many of us aspire, and a standard that Steve Osborne has cleared many times. The book is a fun read. It's like having a cop giving you the skinny over a couple of beers in a bar. I'd love to tell you it's the next best thing to being there, but that's not really true. Being able to vicariously experience some of the stuff that Osborne so skillfully describes is, in my estimation, actually preferable to being there. Osborne strikes me as an example worthy of emulation among those who wear the badge as well as the rest of us in terms of how we treat people. Borne out of his stories, Osborne shows us how to make a difference if we only have the willingness to look for the opportunities around us every day, and the courage to act on what we see.

- davis_alvarez

Good read that had me near tears at one point. I bought this because my 15 year-old son wants to be a police officer, and I wanted him to have a look at what it's really like. I would rather him be an engineer or a scientist but he has to make his own choices. Anyway, I enjoyed reading the book and the author is a good story teller if a bit long-winded in certain parts. But that is to be forgiven as he is trying to convey the complex emotions one has when confronted by situations normal people don't have to be confronted with. I came away from the book with more respect and understanding for police officers than I had before. I still think there are things that leadership needs to work on in terms of police brutality and etc. And there can never be too much training I don't think. If we want to support our local police we should support them with the training they need to handle potentially ugly situations in the most professional way possible.

- chaim_young

I liked Steve's book a lot. I am hoping he reads my review because I would really like to contact him. If you read this, Steve please send me an email at [email protected] I am a retired Boston cop and we share a brotherhodd that only cops appreciate. The general public largely does not understand what a police officer is constantly exposed to. .Especially in the Big Apple. The author tells it like it is and I can relate. Just about every cops who actively does the job has a plethora of exciting, interesting stories. This book is well woth the read. I congratulate the author for taking the time to write and publish an entertaining book. Congratualtions. For the readers, trust me you'll enjoy it.

- kellan_phillips

I enjoyed this book a great deal. I was a cop for thirty-one years so I might be coming at this book differently than most readers, though this book has been well received and deservedly so. The book is comprised of vignettes, short stories of events that occurred in the author's career as a cop in New York. The voice is smooth and natural and most of all believable. What makes this book stand out among the many others on this topic is the sincerity, the honest and unflinching. I highly recommend this book.
David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson series.

- markus_allen

I'm a 26 year and still going veteran of a police department much smaller than the NYPD at around 450 sworn, but like other cops have said in these reviews, police work is police work no matter where you do it. Lt. Osborne definitely has had more than his fair share of dangerous, strange, funny and to put it mildly, interesting shifts. In this book he does a great job describing some of those that is sure to interest cops, former cops and civilians alike. Where I work we don't use some of the terminologies he references such as "collar" for arrest and "bus" for ambulances, but the NYPD is rich in law enforcement history and it wouldn't surprise me if they still use those terms and still operate out of those old dingy buildings he describes with similar layouts with the typical grouchy lieutenant or sergeant at the elevated desk orchestrating the goings on in his precinct. A very entertaining book that I couldn't put down (and I'm not a typical book reader).

- julieta_williams

I cannot rate this book highly enough. I LOVED reading it. It is absolutely fascinating and this is the only book I have ever read that has had me laughing until tears were streaming down my face, crying like a baby (the dog chapter) and literally being too terrified to turn the page, all in the same book. Steve Osborne is a massively talented writer and gives real insight into the life of a New York City Cop. He has had an amazing life and I feel so privileged to have been able to read about it. Definitely a must read!

- yaretzi_brown

Really enjoyed this book, which is very well written and has a good range of police stories- some funny, some sad. One of the better police memoirs, I think

- jamison_king

Being a retired police officer and author myself, I really enjoyed Steve Osborne's book and could identify with some of the situations and issues that he wrote about. Believe me, when I say that writing about your own personal life and career is not always an easy thing to do. I also commend Steve for his years of service in the NYPD. Hope all is well and that you continue to enjoy your retirement!
Rick DiGiandomenico
amazon.com/author/rickdigiandomenico

- zane_johnson

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