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.
"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)
It's amazing that a book 30 years old could remain so relevant and even prescient. Bonfire has long been one of my favorite books. So, as a Super-Fan, I could hardly imagine how any book by Tom Wolfe could find room for improvement. Yet, this performance by Joe Barrett proves that even "perfect" has wiggle room. This audio is so entertaining, I've actually listened to it numerous times, much like one watches an iconic movie over and over through the years.
I loved this book. Looking through the other reviews, I see some some people love it and some people hate it.
Some call it racist... And the characters tend to be caricatures of stereotypes. But that furthers the story, and every racial and social economic group is equally portrayed.
Some say the story is slow, and the plot isn't that well developed. The plot isn't what makes this story great. It's the intimate portrayals of the main characters, with their many faults on full display. The way they preen, rationalize, and make themselves the center of the universe in their own minds.
This is a story with no good guys. Read it if you love lavish descriptions of events and places, and if you like unflinching character portrayals.
If you want a rousing quick plot and easily defined good and bad, look elsewhere.
A great contemporary story.
The main character's gradual descent into the maw of the lower quarters
Maybe, but many of the voices he used during the narration of this book were so grating and annoying I felt like fast forwarding past them. The voice he used for the daughter Campbell would be an example - it was piercing and painfully irritating. The characters in the judicial system and the city jail were, down to a one, overly loud and obnoxious; too many times these voices sent me diving for the volume control. Just overdone, dumb, and annoying.
I enjoyed this book once it really got going! The characters are wonderfully done and there is such witty humor in between them and their perceptions of themselves. I find it interesting that this book is seen as an iconic 1980s novel, because I felt, reading it, like it could easily be about the present day. The excess of capitalistic Wall Street, the race tensions, the media's ravenous bad taste - it's all there!
I listen to about 30 audiobooks a year and this is by far the best audiobook I've ever listened to.
Puts Tom Wolfe in an entire new light; he is surely one of our greatest authors.
A super performance by the narrator.
The ending is a bit disappointing but the plot is very solid overall.
I really hated the British joirnalist's accent. Very caricatural, sounded like he was drunk all the time.
Absolutely. Masterful writing, dry humor, the hours flew by.
Joe Barrett gave an amazing performance. Not just a reading but a 6 star performance. I am going to look for more books narrated by him.
It is incredible how current events of the past 13 months mirror this story from nearly 30 years ago.
Image-iner, sky flier
Really enjoyed the characters and story. The "Sherman" voice took some getting used to but I learned to appreciate it and others.
Now I understand what all the fuss was about when this book came out. It's just a perfect satire about money, wealth, New York, etc. The narrator was fantastic as well. Just a great listen.
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