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)
Toronto, Canada. Audible enthusiast since 2001.
This book was described as a modern classic and that is an apt description. It is densely packed with meaning, metaphor and issues -- perfect for studying in literature classes! None of the characters are at all likeable, which is usually a recipe for a bad book. But they are understandable, and it becomes clear through the story that abstract justice is a concept on no one's mind, while getting what one "deserves" is at the forefront of everyone's agenda. As each struggles to get what they deserve and use each incident to further their own objectives, it becomes clear that "reality" is constructed by a mash-up of disconnected people pursuing their disconnected motives simultaneously, and justice plays no part. An interesting book!
Great story about urban greed; social, financial and civic power grabs; still fresh, absurd and funny twenty-five years after publication.
1) Peter Fallow 2) Reverend Bacon 3) Tommy Killian
This was a brilliant narration by Joe Barrett - he brought to life an astonishing variety of characters and accents, making this as a superbly enjoyable way of experiencing this classic, Regan-era American novel.
it takes all of us
An absolutely brilliant performance of an absurdly compelling story. Even Carly Simon couldn't bring this human foible to light any better. Makes you wonder what would any verdict be "in foro conscientiae" (epilog).
My husband has been listening to this book. He says it is a whole different world. It was slow going for him at first but now that he is connected into it--he has completely tuned me out and is listening at every chance. Be warned--lots of profanity
Great performance. Could work on speaking women's voices, but other than that - truly enjoyable.
So versatile! Rev. Bacon... great job.
I wouldn't recommend this if you are a casual listener as I am and cannot listen everyday. I found it confusing and hard to follow. Wolfe uses a lot of descriptions and social commentary which may have been easier to grasp reading the actual book.
Average. Somewhat Monotone.
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.
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