The Bonfire of the Vanities: A Novel

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9780374115371: The Bonfire of the Vanities: A Novel

Sherman McCoy, the central figure of Tom Wolfe's first novel, is a young investment banker with a fourteen-room apartment in Manhattan. When he is involved in a freak accident in the Bronx, prosecutors, politicians, the press, the police, the clergy, and assorted hustlers high and low close in on him, licking their chops and giving us a gargantuan helping of the human comedy, of New York in the 1980s, a city boiling over with racial and ethnic hostilities and burning with the itch to Grab It Now. Wolfe's novel is a big, panoramic story of the metropolis that reinforces the author's reputation as the foremost chronicler of the way we live in America.

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Review:

After Tom Wolfe defined the '60s in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers and the cultural U-turn at the turn of the '80s in The Right Stuff, nobody thought he could ever top himself again. In 1987, when The Bonfire of the Vanities arrived, the literati called Wolfe an "aging enfant terrible."

He wasn't aging; he was growing up. Bonfire's pyrotechnic satire of 1980s New York wasn't just Wolfe's best book, it was the best bestselling fiction debut of the decade, a miraculously realistic study of an unbelievably status-mad society, from the fiery combatants of the South Bronx to the bubbling scum at the top of Wall Street. Sherman McCoy, a farcically arrogant investment banker (dubbed a "Master of the Universe," Wolfe's brilliant metaphorical co-opting of a then-important toy for boys), hits a black guy in the Bronx with his Mercedes and runs--right into a nightmare peopled by vicious mistresses, thin wives like "social x-rays," slime-bag politicos, tabloid hacks, and Dantesque denizens of the "justice" system. If the Coen and Marx brothers together dramatized The Great Gatsby, Wolfe's Bonfire would probably be funnier. Many think his second novel, A Man in Full, is deeper, but Bonfire will never die down.

You might find it interesting to compare the film The Bonfire of the Vanities, a fascinating calamity perpetrated by the geniuses Brian De Palma and Tom Hanks, with The Right Stuff, one of the very best films of the '80s. --Tim Appelo

From the Publisher:

"A big, bitter, funny, craftily plotted book that grabs you by the lapels and won't let go."
--The New York Times Book Review

"It's the human comedy, on a skyscraper scale and at a taxi-meter pace . . . . "
--Newsweek

"Bonfire moves with a swift comic logic . . . . An innovative and imaginative and intricate plot . . . welds Wolfe's descriptions of dinner parties, restaurant games, Wall Street trading and courthouse chaos into more than a tour de force."
--Time

"Impossible to put down . . ."
--The Wall Street Journal

"A superb human comedy and the first novel ever to get contemporary New York, in all its arrogance and shame and heterogeneity and insularity, exactly right."
--Washington Post Book World.

"Brilliant--Bonfire illumines the modern madness that [was] New York in the 1980s with the intense precision of a laser beam."
--People

"One of the most impressive novels of the decade."
--Library Journal

"Delicious fun."
--The New York Times

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Wolfe, Tom
Editore: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1990)
ISBN 10: 0374115370 ISBN 13: 9780374115371
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Descrizione libro Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110374115370

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Tom Wolfe
Editore: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1990)
ISBN 10: 0374115370 ISBN 13: 9780374115371
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Descrizione libro Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0374115370

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Tom Wolfe
Editore: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1990)
ISBN 10: 0374115370 ISBN 13: 9780374115371
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Descrizione libro Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Updated. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0374115370

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