- Series: Book Club Edition
- Hardcover: 623 pages
- Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (November 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 555118000X
- ISBN-13: 978-5551180005
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bonfire of the Vanities Hardcover – November, 1987
Pierced by the Sun
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Top Customer Reviews
Fast forward a dozen or so years, and Sherman is 38. He's one of New York's leading Bond salesman, a self-titled Master of the Universe who makes a million dollars a year (and that isn't enough), barely sees his wife, and is cheating with another man's gold-digging spouse. As a matter of fact, when we first meet Sherman, the only redeeming feature he has is that he does seem to really love his five-year-old daughter.
Sherman is not the only disgusting character we find as our story opens. There's the mistress, Maria, who laughs at her husband from the confines of her sublet rent-controlled love-nest. The wife is bitchy enough to lose sympathy with the reader despite her husband's philandering. There's the alcoholic tabloid journalist, who is an expert at getting other people to pick up the tab. And there's a thinly veiled reference to the Rev. Al Sharpton, just to complete the picture. When the book opens, the only character with whom the reader can sympathize is Larry, a lawyer who chose to work in the Bronx D.A.'s office because he wants to "make a difference".
And yet, the reader is sucked into the lives of these people.Read more ›
"Bonfire of the Vanities"' flaw is ironically the source of its strength. The book is over 600 pages long. It follows too many characters and spends a lot of time describing the world from their point of view. The book's insights rely on its many perspectives, but at the same time, the descriptions are cumbersome. Tom Wolfe generally does not cast his characters in sympathetic light. His willingness to call it how they see it draws the reader into the story out of an almost perverse curiosity. The blunt talk and peek inside the worlds of city politics, tabloid journalism, criminal law, and Park Avenue lifestyles keep us interested. The story is found in the self-serving hostilities and interdependencies of New York's many factions more than it is in the sequence of events. And it's all thoroughly plausible, sadly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific read that really holds up well 30 years later. Issues of class warfare and race in this country are still every bit as challenging. Don't miss it!Published 7 days ago by James Domenick
Good book i liked it it was good twenty words already why are there so many words only three leftPublished 28 days ago by Tim Duffey
I hated this book. Description, description and more description. I got around 25% of this book and realized that I was skimming through around 80% of what I had read and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by mremandon
A masterpiece for modern times. This work explains everything from Donald Trump to Black Lives Matter.Published 2 months ago by J. M. Williams
The story of a Wall Street broker is the perfect excuse to paint a portrait of New York (and the American society in a broader sense) during the 80's. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Diego Zlotogora
Sherman McCoy is a wealthy Wall Street trader at his peak, with an opulent home, a beautiful wife, an adorable daughter, and a hell-hot mistress. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nina Cornelsen
Storytelling at its best. Captures the 1980's so well. Too bad there isn't a comparable book for the 90's or 00's.Published 3 months ago by BJT