We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Bonfire of the Vanities | [Tom Wolfe]

The Bonfire of the Vanities

Tom Wolfe's best-selling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress - until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward into a humiliating fall from grace. A car accident in the Bronx involving Sherman, his girlfriend, and two young lower-class black men sets a match to the incendiary racial and social tensions of 1980s New York City.
Regular Price:$31.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Tom Wolfe's best-selling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress - until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward into a humiliating fall from grace.

A car accident in the Bronx involving Sherman, his girlfriend, and two young lower-class black men sets a match to the incendiary racial and social tensions of 1980s New York City. Suddenly, Sherman finds himself embroiled in the most brutal, high-profile case of the year, as prosecutors, politicians, the press, the police, the clergy, and assorted hustlers rush in to further their own political and social agendas. With so many egos at stake, the last priority on anyone's mind is truth or justice in this bitingly hilarious American satire.

©1987 Tom Wolfe; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A big, bitter, funny, craftily plotted book that grabs you by the lapels and won't let go." (New York Times Book Review)
"Sheer entertainment against a fabulous background....Often hilarious, and much, much more." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Erupting from the first line with noise, color, tension and immediacy....brilliant." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1205 )
5 star
 (512)
4 star
 (379)
3 star
 (192)
2 star
 (64)
1 star
 (58)
Overall
4.1 (741 )
5 star
 (333)
4 star
 (233)
3 star
 (109)
2 star
 (43)
1 star
 (23)
Story
4.3 (738 )
5 star
 (385)
4 star
 (225)
3 star
 (81)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (24)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David Manchester, CT USA 05-14-14
    David Manchester, CT USA 05-14-14 Member Since 2014

    prog_dave

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Joe Barrett is Amazing"
    What made the experience of listening to The Bonfire of the Vanities the most enjoyable?

    Joe Barrett. The different characters were immediately recognizable by the way he portrayed them, and oh boy, did the voices match the personalities! I've listened to dozens of audiobooks and the only person who gave me a similar experience was Jim Dale with the Harry Potter series. Mr. Barrett brought out everything that's great about listening to books.


    Any additional comments?

    Slight spoiler alert! Although it's his earliest novel, it's the last one I've encountered and I had the same reaction to the ending of the book as I have to the previous three - I'm left wanting more (where's the real ending?). I guess that's probably what he's going for, but it prevents me from granting that fifth star (as if Mr. Wolfe cares).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Jones 04-03-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great storytelling by both author and reader"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    The stripped down and somewhat cruel look at human weaknesses


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Amazing voices characterization


    If you could take any character from The Bonfire of the Vanities out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Tom Killian. I bet he has the best stories.


    Any additional comments?

    I have never seen the movie, so my take on the novel wasn't influenced by pre-set characters from the big screen. Loved the story, and although I was sad to see it end, I truly enjoyed the journey.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Champness 10-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Every character sterotype, reader can't do accents"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Wolfe again?

    No chance


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Joe Barrett?

    Literally anyone else in the world.


    Any additional comments?

    Every character was a trite, hackneyed stereotype. No one talks the way these characters talk... except when being exaggerated for comedic purposes. Of course the main character wall street dude is from Yale and talks like the evil preppy, upturned collar, rival high school football jock from every teen-romp comedy movie in the '80s. OF COURSE. Also, has the narrator ever actually heard a person from the south talk? Or did he just watch a bunch of Fog-Horn Leghorn episodes for his research on accents? The book itself is incredibly long and a crashing bore. Plot turns happen on complete random luck occurences (we call that lazy writing). I found myself rolling my eyes every 10 minutes or so at something that was so unbelieveably inaccurate about the financial world or about New York in the 1980s.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PickAx Girl Northern Minnesota 10-03-13
    PickAx Girl Northern Minnesota 10-03-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    79
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Still works"

    Though the characters and their circumstances are a bit cliché, Tom Wolfe's observations have a real bite and still inform the current events of today, God help us... Listening to Joe Barret read is a marvel--loved his work on Owen Meany and this is even better!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bev Jackson, OH, United States 03-11-13
    Bev Jackson, OH, United States 03-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    104
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent all the way around"
    Where does The Bonfire of the Vanities rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rank it in the top ten, among Atlas Shrugged, Unbroken, East of Eden, Grapes of Wrath, Fall of Giants, Gone with the Wind, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It's hard to find a favorite character. There weren't many admirable people.


    What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

    The way he changed his voice, evoking classes and prejudices.


    If you could rename The Bonfire of the Vanities, what would you call it?

    A Perfect Storm of Classes


    Any additional comments?

    It was interesting to see some of the characters recognize their own faults, only to be unable to do anything about them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Honolulu, HI, United States 02-12-13
    Evan Honolulu, HI, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2015

    Business owner , philanthropist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun Ride, little to much."

    You feel for the main character after awhile, even though he is a jerk. It had some good observations of the justice system that were defiantly good. Just few and far between.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 01-08-13
    Mary 01-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very outdated and slow"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Those who are more interested in racial or economic politics. Or men.


    Has The Bonfire of the Vanities turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not necessarily. I just couldn't connect to the characters.


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Joe does an EXCELLENT job. His dialects are almost flawless and each character has a very distinct voice so I rarely got confused about who was speaking.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was very thorough. The author did not leave out any details.


    Any additional comments?

    Tom Wolfe is obviously a good writer, just incredibly verbose. His descriptions go on and on, sometimes at the expense of the plot or character development. After a while, I just wanted to say, "Get on with it!"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer light 12-06-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much "acting" at end of reading"
    Would you be willing to try another book from Tom Wolfe? Why or why not?

    Definitely.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Joe Barrett’s performances?

    Yes, the reading was great until the last couple hours. Then the reader started over acting for the characters and I thought it was distracting.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 03-08-11
    Amazon Customer United States 03-08-11 Listener Since 2009

    picky reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "This narrator is the best!"

    Joe Barrett narrates with great tone, speed and expression. Also listen to 'A Prayer for Owen Meany' for more from this narrator.
    This novel took me back to the 80s with reference to the lavish decor and excess shoulder paddage. Characters are well defined and interesting enough to keep one's attention throughout. Loved it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Krasner 11-08-10 Member Since 2014

    I like books that have interesting characters and easy to follow plots. For example, Cormoran Strike, is a great character for me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    397
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
    66
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    1
    Overall
    "Better listened to than read"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 70 results PREVIOUS12347NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.