A big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now.
As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay - with officer Nestor Camacho on board - Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor; the black police chief; a wanna-go-muckraking young journalist and his Yale-marinated editor; an Anglo sex-addiction psychiatrist and his Latina nurse by day, loin lock by night - until lately, the love of Nestor's life; a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti and her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin' little brother; a billionaire porn addict; crack dealers in the 'hoods; "de-skilled" conceptual artists at the Miami Art Basel Fair; "spectators" at the annual Biscayne Bay regatta looking only for that night's orgy; yenta-heavy ex-New Yorkers at an "Active Adult" condo; and a nest of shady Russians.
Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous best-selling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.
©2012 Tom Wolfe (P)2012 Hachette
From 4/12/15 on, I will only rate a book 5 stars if it so good I will listen to it again. To date, the Bino series tops that list.
Wolfe is a master at irony and this book is just icing on the cake. I'm really glad I purchased it because Wolfe spins a funny, realistic yarn.
Lou Diamond Phillips is sterling always, but he was made for this story. His performance alone makes this a worthy purchase.
I didn't want the story to end, not only because I fell in love with the characters, but because I felt it is an unfinished work in progress. I feel he did a shoddy job at bringing the story to its conclusion. There are way too many loose ends. Still, I am pleased to recommend this one!
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
First off, there are no better performers in this genre than Lou Diamond Phillips. He is a genius. Okay... now for what he performed...
Since listening to Back To Blood, I have read the reviews. Apparently the NYT, Boston Globe, New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Washington Post, and on and on... Seemed bent on dismissing this book. The kind of catty poseurs who Wolfe undresses in his books seemed to have struck a consensus.... "Well," they smear. "We've read this book before. Every since Bonfire of the Vanities, Wolfe has played the same old note revealing what he seems to think is the dysfunctional culture of the cultural elite." And of course each of these reviewers and publications represent the 'cultural elite.' Yet instead of criticizing Wolf'e arguments, they dismiss him as 'old news'. Hmmmm... I wonder if, by this reasoning any of those publications should ever run with another rape story - since after the first - all are old news. Or should they publish/broadcast/post another corruption story, or for that matter, another brittle praise for a naked new artist clothed only in the superlatives that their 'critics' layer over this month's darling?
Yep, Wolfe goes farther and deeper in Back To Blood in his riposte and ridicule of the asininities of the cognoscenti, the PC crowd, and the literary, art, political, and publishing elite. Worse ye,t for these reviewers, Wolfe is entertaining... his work, unlike most which they endorse, has the power to communicate its message to a broad swath of the public. Wolfe' worse sin is his power to resonate.
And Back To Blood resonates with the same sort of gong as the great social critics of the 20s, 30s, and 40s rang as the revealed the emptiness of the pretentious elites of their moment (does the name Gatsby resonate here?). This is today's great American Novel and should be read as part of an ongoing and deepening exposé along with Bonfire Of The Vanities, A Man In Full, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. John Updike once dismissed Wolfe as "an entertainer" and not a creator of literature. And there is a very real danger that Updike's trifling cocktail favorite but so... so... tame works will be remembered because of their cultural safety, while Wolfe will be kept off of the required reading lists with which we train and grow our literati.
Back To Blood is a great novel. It demands a spot on the same shelf as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Upton Sinclair,Sinclair Lewis, Aldous Huxley, Arthur Koestler, John Steinbeck, and Joseph Heller, John O'Hara, and Robert Penn Warren. Actually this entire series of Wolfe's books should be thought of as one work... each deepening the reader's understanding of a time and place in America's history and stagnation.
European elitists have often dismissed America as a place that passed from barbarism to decadence without ever experiencing civilization. To the degree that they are correct, Wolfe's revealing the pathway and the facilitators ... the enablers. What's particularly interesting though is that the ensemble of actors in Wolfe's epic, multi-novel drama. may be much too familiar to the very European cognoscenti who so easily condescend their American cousins.
It's portrayal of the mind set of Cubans in Miami within their own peoples and towards other ethnic groups.
Where else can you hear loins, mons venus, lubricious sprinkled on every page? Who uses words like those either verbally or written, ever, besides TW?. Not much of a plot, more of a fabulous character study. Fully fleshed out characters come to life but sadly drop from the pages, tantalizing plot threads are disappointingly abandoned but what whacky juicy fun anyway. Its why you came. Enjoy. Narration, accents and pacing just wonderful.
Only on the first few chapter, and already annoyed that the narrator doesn't know how to pronounce Mary Brickell. It's BRICK-ell, not bri-CKELL. It's like nails on a chalkboard to a native Miamian.
It's by Tom Wolfe.
John Smith was a scream. Will there be a series? Least interesting--the police stuff was pretty dull and drawn out.
Not too much to choose from.
Giselaine's family and lineage.
An adeptly narrated multicultural fairytale and police procedural, written it feels on scraps torn from Wolfe’s breathless, young alter ego’s notepad. Each chapter opens with a tango, rap, salsa, balalaika fanfare, etc. I give it an "advanced" PG-13 (occasional attempts at hardcore as seen through the eyes of its innocents and always accompanied by an anti-porn or abstinence message) and a “no irony” warning for the adults.
As some other reviewers have pointed out--the repetitious lines, while maybe meant to be "cutesy" or "stylistic," made this difficult to listen to. In fact, I haven't finished it as it has become intolerable. Certainly a little repetition for artistic sake would be fine, but over and over and over and over and over....
Take out at least 1/2 the repetitions and it would be a fine listen.
I absolutely love Lou Diamond Phillips' narrations. His accents and pronunciations, no matter the language of the words in the dialogue, are second to none.
I enjoyed Diamond Phillips reading...he is quite good. But the story was impossibly unbelieveable and not engaging at all. This story is definitely not one of Tom Wolfe's greatest efforts. I do not recommend.
not likely that it would be made.
regrets on this one.
Tom Wolfe is clearly a masterful writer. The story, with the details, pops off the page (or, in this case, out of the speakers). Lou Diamond Phillips provides a brilliant performance. The only, and major, issue I had with the book/performance is the Spanish. Whether it was butchered originally by Wolfe or in Diamond Phillips' performance of it, it was awful. One would think that SOMEONE would have proofread or sound edited to improve the grammar/language/accenting. Otherwise, it was quite entertaining and worth the listen. If you're a Spanish speaker, just be prepared to cringe.
The tropical warmth and beauty of Miami... kind of spoiled by mishmash social milieu.
I enjoyed the gangster Russian 'art dealer' because he lived in Miami the way Miami deserves to be lived in.
Unbelievably good... I never knew he had such range.
We're in the grinder now.
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