The Last Newspaper Man by Mark Di Ionno – A Your Shelf Life Review

29 Oct

The Last Newspaperman

5 Stars! The Last Newspaper Man Left Me Breathless

This novel is about finding and maintaining personal integrity in a culture aimed at destroying it. Paradoxically, that culture can be a crucible that permits authenticity to grow. This book is exactly up my alley. I did a great deal of coursework in philosophy as an undergraduate and hold an MA in Marriage, Family, & Child Counseling. The personal journeys that form the story are profound, and yet they’re rendered with spareness and clarity that are stunning.

The Last Newspaper Man tells the story of a young newspaperman out to make a mark at the extremely mediocre paper where he works. He wants to grab an atmospheric, witness-to-history story featuring some oldster and boost his professional standing. He goes to the Oceanview, a local retirement facility. He quickly finds the subject he wants: ninety-something Fred Haines, a retired journalist.

The two begin a passage that changes both of them. The story’s form is simple: The young journalist visits the old man. They talk. It turns out that Fred was a very prominent journalist in his day, one of the first “yellow journalists.” As Fred Haines tells his story, he presents a draft of a book that chronicles his life, covering horrific events that fly in the face of human decency. As the manuscript is revealed, both men are changed.

I heartily recommend this book. I found it’s content mesmerizing and extremely relevant in today’s world. DiIonno’s writing is exquisite. He sets up a deep and complex existential dilemma with simple words between two men. The book’s structure and execution are brilliant. Give me more, Mr. DiIonno!

I received a complimentary copy for review.

Sandy Nathan, Your Shelf Life Reviews

Mark Di Ionno

Mark Di Ionno


Mark Di Ionno is a news columnist at The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper. He has won the New Jersey Press Association’s award for best columns several times, and helped edit the paper’s Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the resignation of Gov. James McGreevey. He teaches Urban Journalism. Prior to the Star-Ledger, Di Ionno was a sports columnist at the New York Post. He is the author of three books about New Jersey culture and history. He is on the faculty of Rutgers University, Newark College of Arts & Sciences, University College, Newark, Department of Arts, Culture, and Media.


More about Sandy Nathan:

Sandy Nathan, Award-winning Author

Sandy Nathan’s writing has won twenty-two national awards. She’s won in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.

Sandy’s  books are: (Click link to the left for  information about each book.
All the links below go to Kindle/Amazon sale pages.)

The Tales from Earth’s End Saga ––A Legend for a New World (I recommend that you read the books in order to fully understand the action.)

  1. The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy (Kindle version, paperback version here)  Tales from Earth’s End Saga Book 1
  2. Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love (Kindle version, paperback version here) Tales from Earth’s End Saga Book 2
  3. Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground (Kindle version, paperback version here) Tales from Earth’s End Saga Book 3

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money (Kindle version, hardback version here) Bloodsong Series 1
Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could (Kindle version, paperback version here)


One Response to “The Last Newspaper Man by Mark Di Ionno – A Your Shelf Life Review”

  1. Mary Bearden October 31, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    Sandy, I read the last book and was heartbroken that it ended so badly! Can we go back to the future with one more book to see what Jeremy, Sam and the new girl are doing? I am very suprised you did not mention what happened to the General’s son. Maybe that should be the next one. How they all collide somehow!