A Man in Full

By: Tom Wolfe
Narrated by: Michael Prichard
Length: 35 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (168 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The setting is Atlanta, Georgia - a racially mixed, late-century boomtown full of fresh wealth and wily politicians. The protagonist is Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a late-middle-aged Atlanta conglomerate king whose outsize ego has at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 29,000-acre quail-shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife, and a half-empty office complex with a staggering load of debt.

Meanwhile, Conrad Hensley, idealistic young father of two, is laid off from his job at the Croker Global Foods warehouse near Oakland and finds himself spiraling into the lower depths of the American legal system.

And back in Atlanta, when star Georgia Tech running back Fareek “the Canon” Fanon, a homegrown product of the city’s slums, is accused of date-raping the daughter of a pillar of the white establishment, upscale black lawyer Roger White II is asked to represent Fanon and help keep the city’s delicate racial balance from blowing sky-high.

Networks of illegal Asian immigrants crisscrossing the continent, daily life behind bars, shady real estate syndicates - Wolfe shows us contemporary America with all the verve, wit, and insight that have made him our most admired novelist. Charlie Croker’s deliverance from his tribulations provides an unforgettable denouement to the most widely awaited, hilarious, and telling novel America has seen in ages - Tom Wolfe’s most outstanding achievement to date.

©2010 Tom Wolfe (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The novel contains passages as powerful and as beautiful as anything written - not merely by contemporary American novelists but by any American novelist.... The book is as funny as anything Wolfe has ever written; at the same time it is also deeply, strangely affecting." (The New York Times Book Review)

 "A masterpiece." (The Wall Street Journal

 "Superior...utterly engrossing." (USA Today)

What listeners say about A Man in Full

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What a pity!

I remember reading and enjoying this novel when it was first published, so much so that I've checked from time to time to see if Audible had produced an audiobook version. I liked the story once again, but found myself constantly having to struggle through because of Michael Pritchard's narration.

To begin with, he has a sharp tenor voice (which I don't care for) marred further by nasal delivery. Worst of all, however, the narration lacks even a semblance of vigor. If any book (and writer) needs engagement with the characters and action, this is it. Consequently Wolfe's breakneck-speed writing is mired in a slow, ponderous vocal style. Finally, there are noticeable -- and annoying -- inconsistencies in audio quality, signified by variations in voice tone and volume, which have to be attributed to inadequate attention to recording levels and/or to poor editing.

Overall, an enjoyable novel but a disappointing audiobook.

12 people found this helpful

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Narration:((

LOVE TOM WOLFE. Besides reading, I've listened to "I'm Charlotte Simmons" and " Back to blood", both had outstanding narration. And to the absolute pearl "The right stuff" narrated by amazing Dennis Quaid. Michael Prichard is really hard and sharp on ears, and while having an energy required by Tom Wolfe's writing, definitely lacking a passion for the characters. Just started to listen. Hope I will warm up to his way of narration.

5 people found this helpful

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Michael Pritchard

The movie adaptation of ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’ was plagued by several problems, but the most glaring had to be the decision to (mis)cast Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis into role that would have suited the other far better. Miscasting a movie can derail it within minutes.

And now we have one of my favorite novels released, finally in unabridged form, just months after the death o the author. I haven’t listened to David Ogden Stiers’ abridged version, but can certainly imagine him having done a commendable job. I have, however, listened to ‘I Am Charlotte Simmons’ in audiobook form, and I believe Dylan Baker nailed it. It’s my favorite audiobook performance, full stop. The man took chances in his reading, completely sold out (in the good way) for the performance, and, consequently, absolutely brought the book to life for me.

So when I saw that AMIF had been released, my immediate thought, fondest hope, and most fevered audiobook wish was on the cusp of realization: Dylan Baker reading an unabridged AMIF.

...

...

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Is it Tom Hanks’ or Bruce Willis’ fault that either was miscast? Doubtful. In the same way, I can’t, don’t, and won’t ‘blame’ Michael Pritchard here. I have a few audiobooks that he has read and enjoyed them. Asking him to do this book, however, is like asking a virtuosic cellist to assume the duties of the principal clarinetist: NOT A GREAT IDEA.

This, instead of hours of delight, I found myself deep within the recesses of what-might-have-been. Again, nothing against Mr. Pritchard...not his fault, but for me, this has to be counted as a disappointment.

16 people found this helpful

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Best Wolfe After Bonfire

Finally an unabridged audiobook of A Man in Full. Great story, writing, and narration. I don't know what took so long for this to be released.

3 people found this helpful

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What Makes a Man? And Narrator Not So Bad

An interesting listen that held my attention despite its length. The author introduces the philosophy of Stoicism to the modern world, which is not nearly as boring as it sounds. I was definitely rooting for Conrad Hensley. One of the subplots seems dated in the #MeToo era, and how superficial the female characters seem to be. The overall plot of what defines a man, his status, his possessions, what others think of him, or his character, brings home the point in the end.
The narrator took a little getting used to, but I stuck with him and ended up not disliking him as much as many other people.

1 person found this helpful

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Becoming a Stoic

I listen to this it was a great listen and I also have the book so I read it home. Someone who was a stoic had said that they took it up after reading this book I can't remember where I heard or read that anyhow so I picked it up at a used bookstore and it's pretty impressive with regards to stoicism; maybe it's really basic, I'm no philosopher, but I'm going to read up a little bit more on the philosophy. It was a good story, well written I felt, and my first Tom Wolfe book! I plan to read more.

1 person found this helpful

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prescience from a master

an aged football star turned real estate developer and a star athlete meet amidst a rape allegation, a mayoral campaign, and bankruptcy proceedings only to be saved by a felon who brings the words of Epictetus and the Stoics to rescue meaning. Wolfe is a master and his tool is old south drama in the modern era - race, politics, business, and the fine line of that over which you can and cannot control.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MD
  • 07-02-20

Superb

What a great story. Nailed the descriptions of Atlanta, and all the nuances. The performance was top notch. I listened to the book a year ago, but still think about it often.

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Great Read

Poignant even today. Well written, complex, great character development. Read it you won’t regret it.

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Just a wee short of Full

L O N G, L o n g book.
Quality of the recording is not up to other Audible books I've listened too - a bit compressed or something.
The narrator, I think, was chosen for his ability with the "good old boys'" accents which are required in swaths of the book.
But all that doesn't interfere too much with the quality of the story. Wonderful, deep cultural references and obvious persnickety research into the real estate biz, prison and animal husbandry (not to mention anatomy) that Wolfe does so well.