I just could not finish it. I got about halfway through the second part and found myself feeling like I was on a forced march going "let's just get this one over with." At that point, why finish it? I think the story has promised based on the movie. Unfortunately, Wolfe goes into so much excruciating and unnecessary detail on the most mundane points that you lose focus on the story. Throw in a terrible narrator who overdoes almost every character and I simply could not take it and said, "Next!" Based on my experience with "Man in Full" many years, I should have been wary of another Tom Wolfe book. I won't make the mistake again.
The self destruction of the main character is so overwhelming. More than depressing, almost embarrassing. The narrator did a great job, the story was just a lost cause.
I was initially turned off by this book in that all the characters are negative and bigoted. However, the story grew on me. Much of the credit goes to the narrator, who was awesome with a variety of accents, and inflections. He truly is an actor, not just a reader. I've listened to lots of books on audible but this was by far and away the best narrator.
Wolfe's journalistic eye for detail is fully on display in this brilliant novel. While the writing is admittedly long-winded at times, the patient listener is led on a fascinating journey through high society and the American judicial system. All of the social interactions so deftly described provide illumination into the motivations of the major characters in the novel, which fully brings to life the blazing bonfire of vanities, of so many people's vanities, in the novel's stunning finale. While the novel is set in the New York of the early to mid-1980s, I'm afraid it could easily describe the New York of today. In fact, Wolfe's New York might be a bit tame and naive by today's standards. The reading is equally brilliant. I enjoyed every minute, and I'm looking forward to reading (or listening to) another Wolfe novel soon.
At first I was wondering what all the good reviews were all about but as I got caught up in the tale and how it took the character down a road of no return I was facinated. Makes you think about what guilty and not guilty really are.
had seen the movie years ago, and couldn't make heads or tails of it. finally got around to listening to the audio book recently, and REALLY enjoyed it~ Wolfe has real knack for the characters internal dialogue, and, being a NYer, found the book to be an often humorous look at the vanities of everyone, regardless of social strata.
Narration, overall, was spectacular. only minor criticism was the voices of children in the book... a little too much Alvin and the Chipmunks inflection, otherwise flawless.
thanks for putting it on sale, Audible :-)
I gave up listening to this before I was even halfway through, when I realized I was having to force myself to keep listening. I kept hoping something would spark my interest, but once you wade around the foul language and the men cheating on their wives or plannning on cheating on their wives, there was not much left. I think the narrator did it a disservice with the over-the-top voice for Sherman, made him even more unlikeable and hard to listen to. If I could go lower than 1 star, I would.
Boring, repetitive and painful. I'm bummed I wasted a credit on this download... I've listened for nearly 5 hours and I just cannot waste anymore time on this one.
I read Bonfire of the Vanities when it first came out and liked it. I just finished listening to it and finally understood what Tom Wolfe was trying to do. This book is fantastic listened to. I listen to 100 books a year and this was one of the best that I've ever heard. I think Wolfe meant it to be read. The narrator was spectacular with all his voices and the characters all came out well developed and interesting. The end of the book was somewhat disappointing considering how great the first 99% was. Highly recommended.
Even though this story takes pace in the 1980s it rings true today....perhaps painfully so. Well written and truly well read- you may not like all of the characters but you will never forget them!