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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Beautiful writing and characterization, but I couldn't stand them - quit half way through because you know just they are going to get what they deserve, which is fine, but not much... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Diann
Although this story takes place in 1980's New York, it is timeless and placeless. Wolfe's story sucked me in and I couldn't put it down until my kids forced me to (they needed... Read morePublished 1 month ago by jennym
This is a wonderful book. The movie was a sham but the book's characters really draw you in. I think this one is his best, though "Man in Full" is a stunning piece of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by MAUREEN OREILLY
Boffo book; I can hardly put it down. Everyone I know insisted I read it, and I'm glad. One of the best- and most masterfully written- books I've had the pleasure of reading. Read morePublished 1 month ago by joan schwende
Excellent book. Gives a very good picture of New York society in all its ramifications. My son lives in New York and also found it very interesting.Published 1 month ago by E.J. Stam-van Waasdijk
easy read, and very enjoyable. more of a story of personalities.Published 2 months ago by joseph hornstein