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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.
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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

4.0 (838 )
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4.2 (414 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alain santa Fe, NM, United States 11-20-09
    Alain santa Fe, NM, United States 11-20-09 Member Since 2005

    professor. like great and VERY good books, fiction and history, mainly

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Reader !"

    This is one book -- and a fine one, indeed -- where the reader makes listening perhaps even richer and more enjoyable than reading. There are a myriad of voices, accents, personalities, and he renders them with brilliant sensitivity. A stunning listen!

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Gifford, IL, United States 06-24-09
    Rob Gifford, IL, United States 06-24-09
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    "Great writing"

    I think Tom Wolfe is a great writer and I was totally enthralled with this audio. The story kept you going the whole time and never seemed to drag. I was also impressed with the narrator and the voices he was able to create. It was a easy listen, I highly recommend it.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 08-23-09
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 08-23-09 Member Since 2003

    Audible Member Since 2003

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "TEN STARS"

    THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES is perhaps one of the most entertaining audiobooks I have listened to in a long time. The reader, Joe Barrett, does a fantastic job bringing the satirical nature of the story to life and actually enhances what is a very well-written book.

    Some may say the story is dated, but I believe it could very well fit into today's world of Wall Street greed, strained race relations, and two-faced politicians.

    Tom Wolfe is one of America's best living writers, and this book ranks among his most popular works.

    By the way - do NOT see the movie directed by Brian Depalma. It is a piece of garbage that in no way resembles this great work of art. If you HAVE seen the film, listen to this book. It will redeem your opinion of the story.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Horton Mccurdy Atlanta, GA USA 07-08-09
    Horton Mccurdy Atlanta, GA USA 07-08-09

    Gadgetaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engrossing, Well-Read Book"

    I can't say enough good about Joe Barrett's reading of Tom Wolfe's excellent book about "Yuppies" and the Bronx of the 80s. The audio book is 27 hours long, but went by so fast I couldn't believe it was that long. Somewhat outdated (someone said this book's view of the Bronx is as outdated as Tom Wolfe's clothes), but still highly recommended.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Indianapolis, IN, USA 11-18-09
    Don Indianapolis, IN, USA 11-18-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved the narrator, and the book"

    I had read this book when it first came out. I have read all of Tom Wolfe's books and this was and is oneof my favorites. I think the narrator did an outstanding job of catching all the New York accents. I highly reccomend this audio book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dwain Sequim , WA, USA 04-28-10
    Dwain Sequim , WA, USA 04-28-10
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    "Terrific Read"

    I did not realize how broken I was until Wolfe showed me the light. It is important to be reminded that one cannot change human nature. And what about that narration!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy fort lauderdale, FL, United States 11-13-09
    Nancy fort lauderdale, FL, United States 11-13-09
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    "Wow"

    Why didn't I read this sooner? This is a fabulous story. It held my attention like few others.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck Pompano Beach, FL, United States 10-11-11
    Chuck Pompano Beach, FL, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2006
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    "One of the best ever!"

    Read this book when it first came out. Then listened to it many years ago and just listened again. It gets better and better. Brilliant writing and one of the best narrations I've ever heard. Joe Barrett is an outstanding reader. His voices truly enhance a very clever book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Odegard Issaquah, WA USA 01-21-10
    K. Odegard Issaquah, WA USA 01-21-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Wonderful"

    It is always such a treat when a great book is read by a talented narrator. The book is a brilliantly cynical parody of the 80's and Joe Barrett is one of the best narrators I've heard. He vocalizes each character so distinctly that sometimes it's hard to believe it is the same man. One of the best recorded performances I've ever heard and as soon as I finish this review, I'm going to see what else he's narrated and buy them all.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david chesapeake, VA, United States 04-16-10
    david chesapeake, VA, United States 04-16-10 Member Since 2009

    I am self-absorbed and...oh wait this isn't an e-mail to my therapist. hehe I love the Science and Technology section here, it's my favorite. I hope to write my reviews at least well enough to peek the interest of a few listeners to the point where they will shift their tastes more toward educational literature, knowing that(after receiving some insight from me) they can be just as entertaining, if not more so than mainstream fiction

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    "I was riveted till the end!!!"

    This had me gripped! I truly loved this book. There are so many other stories that got me hooked but being one of the newer ones it was easier and more fun for me. So many parts lasso me in because of the incredible description but though the older books are good it was so much better with this one being able to relate to all of the technical and mechanical stuff described.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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