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A Man in Full Paperback – October 30, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The true protagonist - or I should better say, the hero (and most certainly the referent of the title) - of this book is Conrad Hensley, the underdog family man who works in one of Croker's frozen food warehouses, undergoes a long series of unlikely adventures, and accidentally discovers the ancient Stoic religion, which becomes his salvation. The whole point of Stoicism is that it doesn't matter who you are socially, what you have, or what people think of you. All that really matters is what you alone can control: your own emotional/mental/spiritual state. Happiness lies in not letting yourself be controlled by externals. Let go of your attachments to them - accept that they are beyond your control - and nothing can touch you. This is what it means to be a true man, and in the book it is Conrad, not Croker, who achieves this ideal.Read more ›
As with Bonfire, Wolfe writes about the polically connected, race politics and the very wealthy. Charlie Croker and friends judge others based on the amount of money they have and the material possessions they own. Using this criteria to judge others is obviously foolish to all except the most materialistic. Except for Conrad Hensley, the Croker employee arrested for assault, the poorest main character is a banker named Peepgas who has a Harvard MBA and makes $120,000 a year. Needless to say, the social arena Wolfe writes about is above that of most readers. That doesn't mean the book isn't entertaining. I enjoyed all of the characters and their interaction.
When an all-American African American football player at Georgia Tech is suspected of rape, racial tension threatens to destroy Atlanta. Croker is about to lose all his possessions to his creditors and his sexy wife half his age isn't too thrilled about it. Roger White is the black lawyer called on by the black mayor to see if he can get the crusty old Croker to speak out. Conrad Hensley is the Croker employee who is fired then thrown in jail. All the plots slowly converge. This book isn't about action, its about characters.Read more ›
This novel shows a different side to Tom Wolfe in that several of the characters are actually likeable. Wolfe has a reputation for poking fun at everything and everyone, but in A Man in Full the three main characters, as flawed as they are, evoke sympathy and understanding from the reader. Conrad's car trouble episode, for example, is the best representation of the frustrations of working poverty that I have ever read. As always Wolfe exhibits his signature style of defining modern American culture in great documentary detail, from the grandiose to the miniscule, with searing insight. The novel tends to be over-documentary at times which slows down the narrative, and the ending seems clipped and a bit unnatural. Overall, though, this novel is an instant classic, and proves that Wolfe is the best writer of his generation. A.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It’s been sometime between my last Tom Wolfe experience (hint-generally an “on the bus” person). This book makes me wonder if I’ve been “off the bus” far too long. Read morePublished 3 months ago by avande7217
Another Tom Wolfe book that showed brilliance throughout but ended with a fizzle. This one wasn’t quite up there with Bonfire, but it was better than Charlotte Simmons. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rod Allison
Tom Wolfe's novels are always intelligently written as well as entertaining. I read this book years ago and remembered it as one of my favorites.Published 5 months ago by Holly
This is a very intelligent and well-written book. I especially liked the use of stoicism. Only the ending keeps me from giving it 5 stars.Published 7 months ago by Jeffrey R. Myers
Tom Wolfe has such a good insight into human behaviour and modern culture.Published 11 months ago by Kathy G.