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The Bonfire of the Vanities Audiobook

The Bonfire of the Vanities

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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

4.1 (1516 )
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4.3 (1015 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jarvis Jones 04-21-16 Member Since 2012
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    49
    8
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    Story
    "A story for the cynical student of human nature"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Melton 04-15-16 Member Since 2013
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    2
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    "A great rollicking story, marred by a ham narrator"
    If you could sum up The Bonfire of the Vanities in three words, what would they be?

    A great contemporary story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bonfire of the Vanities?

    The main character's gradual descent into the maw of the lower quarters


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

    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.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Bonfire of the Vanities and why?

    Sherman.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 02-20-16
    Emily 02-20-16
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    "A great work, great narrator, but very long!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mich mccormick 02-02-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Entertaining performance"

    Think 'The Great Gatsby' meets 'The Wire' in 1980s New York. Do with that what you will.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 01-10-16
    Chris 01-10-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Wow"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marcus messner 12-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "great story and great performance!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 09-10-15
    Michael 09-10-15
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    "Loved the book, amazed by the performance."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Masterful writing, dry humor, the hours flew by.


    What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    It is incredible how current events of the past 13 months mirror this story from nearly 30 years ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. C. Labozzetta New Haven, CT 09-03-15
    J. C. Labozzetta New Haven, CT 09-03-15 Member Since 2015

    Image-iner, sky flier

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    3
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    "Well read modern classic!"

    Really enjoyed the characters and story. The "Sherman" voice took some getting used to but I learned to appreciate it and others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 08-29-15
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 08-29-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now I know"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Benz 08-17-15 Member Since 2016

    Consumer

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    5
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    "Totally superb"

    Best narration I've ever heard, and I have listened to many many audiobooks. Very pleased with my purchase, learned w lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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