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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    213
  • 4 Stars
    225
  • 3 Stars
    137
  • 2 Stars
    54
  • 1 Stars
    58

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    317
  • 4 Stars
    153
  • 3 Stars
    60
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    18

Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    174
  • 4 Stars
    177
  • 3 Stars
    130
  • 2 Stars
    47
  • 1 Stars
    47
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Me
  • 05-03-16

Maddeningly annoyingly repetitious...

What would have made Back to Blood better?

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....

Would you recommend Back to Blood to your friends? Why or why not?

Take out at least 1/2 the repetitions and it would be a fine listen.

Have you listened to any of Lou Diamond Phillips’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

What character would you cut from Back to Blood?

The author.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Tedious Tale..and quite unbelievable

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

not likely that it would be made.

Any additional comments?

regrets on this one.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting story, excellent writing, awful Spanish

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

It's pretty messy down Miami way

What did you love best about Back to Blood?

The tropical warmth and beauty of Miami... kind of spoiled by mishmash social milieu.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I enjoyed the gangster Russian 'art dealer' because he lived in Miami the way Miami deserves to be lived in.

What about Lou Diamond Phillips’s performance did you like?

Unbelievably good... I never knew he had such range.

If you could rename Back to Blood, what would you call it?

Adios America.

Any additional comments?

We're in the grinder now.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

LDP's reading doubles the experience

Would you consider the audio edition of Back to Blood to be better than the print version?

Definitely. Lou Diamond Phillips' narration is the best I ever heard. I read several Tom Wolfe books and this is as good as Man in Full or the Bonfire... I only with it was twice as long.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Back to Blood?

Great book throughout. Back to back. Again, LDP's reading is what I want to point out.

Have you listened to any of Lou Diamond Phillips’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No but I will.

If you could take any character from Back to Blood out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Not sure. I feel like an outside observer.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Tom Wolfe at his best

What did you love best about Back to Blood?

OK story is really an excuse for observations about the South Florida social and political scene. The Art Basel commentary is priceless.

Which scene was your favorite?

Art Basel

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

This book could have been so much better

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Tom Wolfe is great at character, scene, and setting development in his writing. Bonfire of the Vanities is one of my favorite books because of those elements, combined with a great plot. But it's almost like Wolfe completely forgot to include a plot in this book. He sets the stage for the plot early in the book, more or less abandons it for the next 85% of the book, then quickly wraps it up at the end. He spent way too much time describing the thoughts and feelings of particular characters in scenes to the point I kept saying, "let's get on with it." How much insight does it provide to describe someone's thoughts to the most minute detail? I feel that there was a masterpiece waiting to be written here, but Wolfe couldn't bother to put it together.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The general ethnic variety of Miami is an interesting setting and good study of socio-economic trends in this ethnically diverse area.

What about Lou Diamond Phillips’s performance did you like?

I thought he did a great job of performing the various characters, from Cuban, to American, to Haitian, to Russian. His performance was better than the story, itself.

Was Back to Blood worth the listening time?

Not really, no. I'm most disappointed because Wolfe had the elements to make a really great novel, but chose to focus too much of the text on the wrong things.

Any additional comments?

The very ending of the book perplexed me as well, It had to do with the girl Nestor chose to call between three potential women. It just didn't make sense to me, nor tie in to the theme or story of the book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sherrill
  • Clemson, SC, United States
  • 03-08-14

Why, why, why, why????

What did you like best about Back to Blood? What did you like least?

Great story, great well developed characters, vividly painted scenes.

What other book might you compare Back to Blood to and why?

I don't recall a book that was so good and so bad at the same time. And the bad could have so easily been simply not written by Mr. Wolfe or even more simply edited out of the audible book.

What aspect of Lou Diamond Phillips’s performance would you have changed?

Generally very good, but he should have ditched the irritating laugh of Norman. Readers are smart, they get it that Norman is obnoxious, vain, and self-absorbed, but the repeated attempt at a laugh that, I suppose, is meant to support these characteristics got old very fast.

Did Back to Blood inspire you to do anything?

To warn readers that they should be ready for a combination of good and bad writing. I read many books without writing a review, doing so only when I feel compelled by something very good or very bad.

Any additional comments?

Why did Tom Wolfe feel he had to use endless repeated words to make a point. I was happy to see from earlier reviews that my reaction was not exclusive to me. As I said above, readers of Wolfe are smart people. The repeated repeated repeated words became so irritating I wanted to scrap the book many times, but as I said the story was very good. I only would ask the editors to please please please please use better judgment and do what their job title implies.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • elly
  • heemstede, Netherlands
  • 01-31-14

Not worth the money

Would you try another book from Tom Wolfe and/or Lou Diamond Phillips?

Not for Tom Wolfe but maybe one where Lou Diamond Philips is the narrator

Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Wolfe again?

I'm afraid not.

Did Lou Diamond Phillips do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, that was good enough.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Maybe the melting pot in Miami.

Any additional comments?

No not realy. I just didn't like it and throwed it away when I was half way.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narrator, Lou Diamond Phillips is The Business!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This was a stellar read. Perfectly paced. Great execution of a large variety of accents - without 'showing off' - always believable and embedded in the story. A text that required an advanced sense of rhythm - Lou DP, you nailed it.

What did you like best about this story?

Plot. Observation. Tom Wolfe - finger on the pulse, as usual, of America now from every angle - politico-socio-racial and just plain human.

Which character – as performed by Lou Diamond Phillips – was your favorite?

There are no duds.

If you could rename Back to Blood, what would you call it?

Why would I?

Any additional comments?

Such great company in my car. So many 'OMG, No!' moments. Brilliant.