Years ago I read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it, but was disappointed in the movie. On a whim I decided to buy the audio version. Couldn't have been more pleased.
The story is as good as ever, but Joe Barrett is a MASTER of delivery. Not only did his accents portray the various cultural levels and geographic areas, but the speech patterns were spot on. From the manipulating Reverend Bacon to the somewhat slurry speech of the British tabloid journalist, Peter Fallow to the Bronx vernacular of defense attorney Tommy Killian. And I'll never forget the thunderous voice of Judge Myron Kovitsky. The characters truly "came alive" as I listened.
Highly recommend this as a first read, or as I did: a re-read.
This book should be required reading for all survivors of the financial crisis. Although some of the themes of the book have evolved in the ensuing years since it was written, the overarching issues of income inequality, racial disharmony, and class entitlement still resonate today. Wolfe is especially good at creating a tragic figure, Sherman McCoy, that is at once self-destructive, insecure, arrogant and above all sympathetic. He has taken the simple path that was laid out before him, and has enjoyed the resulting fruits, but can't take the necessary steps to save himself once his bubble is burst. I found myself missing bus stops and train stations frequently while listening to this book, especially at the end, when the entire story climaxes in a fairly shocking and entirely gripping conclusion.
An introverted excavator.
This was a riveting story about terrible people. This is my first Wolfe and it won't be my last. The portraits of his characters are among the most vividly rendered I can recall any author pulling off. The narrator was quite skilled in pulling off the accents. His weakness was little Campbell, he sounded kind of crazy voicing a little girl, but that is an infrequent issue.
They are all terrible people, let's be honest. Even little Campbell was annoying. Anyway, that is the fun of the book!
The society dinner party was a great opportunity to peak at and giggle at how the
I happened to be listening to the story when there was a very similar story dominating the news. It is interesting how little has changed in the 20+ years since Wolfe wrote the book.
Wolfe and Barrett created a terrific ride from the black hole of wealthy self absorption to the release of penniless self realization. Well developed characters that I could care about along with a story line that was engaging even in it's predictability. Proof that moralizing can occasionally be entertaining as well as edifying.
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 :-)
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!