I enjoyed this story as much as A Man in Full. Part of what makes a story great is the adventure of learning things you never knew about a culture and a region, interesting things, and often fascinating things. I was completely captured over and over as this story careens from one cultural clique to another. We follow an unwilling and unlikely protagonist in Nestor Camacho a pumped up Cuban and Miami cop, almost a Keystone cop in the way he tries his best just to keep from screwing up yet winds up time and again as the center of Miami's media focus - as both a hero and a villan. Great story. Great characters. Great performance.
Bonfire of the Vanities
The acting by the reader was far better than reading the book. I
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
It takes long to get into this book. The story is convoluted , the characters difficult to comprehend and one really does not understand where Tom Wolfe wants to take him. Is the book meant to be an essay on the ethnic and social conflicts in Miami or simply a comedy on the high class bourgeoisie investing in art for social recognition ? No, this is, you discover after a few hours of patient listening, a thriller .. The writing style and the reading are frenzy and a bit too high pitch. Much ado about nothing.
I've come to expect epics from TW so my only complaint here is that the story ended much too soon. This is classic Tom. Down in the dirt with the over-privileged and posers of the art world. His writing becomes more poetic with each new novel. Lou is a terrific narrator, as good as any I've ever heard.
This book was a tough listen I thought the story was slow developing.
I needed to become engaged with the characters, I found my mind wandering during the listen
Love novels, love to laugh.
Once again Tom Wolfe gives us a wonderful novel. The characters are so defined and the story is great. He's an amazing author. I loved CHARLOTTE SIMMONS and this book is equally as terrific. Lou Diamond Phillips is the perfect choice to narrate this novel.
In mid winter in Oregon, it was good to spend some time in Florida.
The narration. The reader shouted at me, affected bad approximations of accents and ruined the book. I like reading because it invites my mind and imagination to fill in the blanks. A well narrated audio book allows space for the listener to enjoy and imagine. This reader left nothing.
Absolutely not. If this was someone's first audio book they would probably never listen to another again.
Pretty much anyone.
Tom Wolfe Genius
Bonfire of the Vanities - same hilariously insidious sadistic approach to character development - utterly impossible to put down - jokes within jokes wrapped in jokes in every paragraph. If you read the same paragraph 12 times, you'll double over laughing for 12 different reasons - it reads like a knife through butter but every sentence is densely packed.
Strong, Bad Spanish
have to think about that one
My point in writing this is to encourage Audible to get a different narration - even if by the same guy - Phillips is excellent but fails fatally in one absolutely critical area: Cuban Spanish. Spanish in general, actually. For example, an important character goes to a Cuban gym called "Ññññññño, Qué Gym!", which is short for "Coño! What a gym!". "Coño" is like saying "whoa!" is English, but a bit more profane. You pronounce ño like this "nyo". But Phillips says "no". Now, I'm not Cuban and I'm not an expert in Spanish and I had hoped to benefit from hearing all of the Spanish in this book pronounced with a proper Miami Cuban accent, but EVERY GRINGO who knows the slightest thing about Cuba knows that it's nyo, not no! Everybody says ñññño all the time. It was practically the first thing I learned to say when I was in Cuba. If he gets THIS wrong, everything is suspect, and sure enough, a few pages later he says "DEE os me oh" instead of "dyos me oh" for "my god". This is not a Cubanism. It's just plain old "my God". In any Spanish dialect it's gonna be "dyos me oh" - one syllable on Dios. Again, EVERYBODY says "ay dios mío" (oh my god) over and over and over. If you can say "dee os me oh" and not hear that it sound wrong ... that's not good.
So, in summary, Tom Wolfe might be the greatest writer of fiction of the last century and this book is another stunning example of his art - it just needs a more authentic narration. It's too bad because in every other way Phillips is eminently listenable. I'd give him at least 4 stars if not for the horrendous errors in Spanish.
I have not finished the book yet, but I have to tell you...I live in Miami, and the pronunciation of some of the areas in Miami is horrendous... It's Brickell Ave, not BRICK-EL! Come On- Man!
I can't stand the obnoxious laugh of the doctor. Even with this, it is one of the best books I have listened to in a long time. I do not want it to end.
Nestor... so real
He would be great if he learned how to pronounce the names of some of the most famous areas in Miami... It's Brickell, not BRICK - EL, and the annoying laugh of the Doctor.
so far, all of them
Where else can you hear loins, mons venus, lubricious sprinkled on every page? Who uses words like those either verbally or written, ever, besides TW?. Not much of a plot, more of a fabulous character study. Fully fleshed out characters come to life but sadly drop from the pages, tantalizing plot threads are disappointingly abandoned but what whacky juicy fun anyway. Its why you came. Enjoy. Narration, accents and pacing just wonderful.