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Bonfire of the Vanities
by Tom Wolfe
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux 1990
Category:
Avg Rating: (2 reviews)
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.

Reviews

Captures NYC in the 80s - December 31st, 2006
This is a case where the book is far better than the movie. Wolfe captures the greed of go-go Manhattan's financial set, the despair of the Bronx and the clash of race and class in 1980s NYC.

- September 29th, 2004
I found this book initially difficult to read, but once the concept of it began to dawn on me, it became immensly enjoyable. Mr Wolfe has brilliantly defined the attitude and lifestyle of NewYork in the eighties and captured in his depiction of Sherman McCoy a classic fall from grace. I found that the greatest aspect of this book is that there is no redemption for the ultimately innocent McCoy. Wolfe had the gall to flaunt convention by addind a twist such as this and should be universally applauded. Five out of five.

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