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The Bonfire of the Vanities Paperback – Bargain Price, March 4, 2008
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"A big, bitter, funny, craftily plotted book that grabs you by the lapels and won't let you go."--The New York Times Book Review
"The Bonfire of the Vanities chronicles the collapse of a Wall Street bond trader, and examines a world in which fortunes are made and lost at the blink of a computer screen. . . . Wolfe's subject couldn't be more topical: New Yorkers' relentless pursuit and flaunting of wealth, and the fury it evokes in the have-nots."--USA Today
"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."--The Washington Post Book World
"A page-turner . . . Brilliant high comedy."--The New Republic
"More than a tour de force."--Time
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The Bonfire of the Vanities, written in the mid-80s, is a perfect satire of the melting pot that is New York City. No ethnic community is spared Wolfe's biting commentary, from the African-American "Reverend" racial huckster, to the Irish cops and DAs, to the novels chief protagonist, bond trading WASP Sherman McCoy and his high society running buddies. Wolfe is in fine form while spinning this yarn about racial politics and the skewed criminal justice system that is heavily impacted by it.
Wolfe is never better than when he crawls into the mind of some of his most colorful characters, and Sherman McCoy is no exception. I would certainly rate this as one of his better efforts, though not quite up to the standards of The Right Stuff.
You'll want to read Tom Wolfe's enthralling tale of Sherman McCoy's fall from "Master of the Universe" as a highly paid successful bond trader on Wall Street who lives in a multi-million $ appartment in Manhattan. McCoy's ruin results from his own choices, through his cheating and unethical actions, one step at a time.
But it's the way it's written that made me want to read "thoroughly", not to miss a thing! Yes, the story itself, but much more how Tom Wolfe paints a portrait of each charactr in vivid realistic color as they move from on going events to their consequences.
The story begins with cheating. It's the old story of lies to cover up his affair with a younger woman. This leads to a hit-and-run car accident when he gets lost in the Bronx with his girlfriend - in Harlem's black gheto.
This story involves politics, characters of law - police, judges, a jewish mayor intent on being re-elected, all set amid a violent public racial conflict.
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Just as the end of the book suggests (this is not a spoiler) with the end of the...Read more