Tom Wolfe's debut collection of essays - a brilliant, form-bending dive into the future of America as it careened through the 1960s
In 1965, Tom Wolfe dropped like a bomb onto the American literary scene with his first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, an incandescent panorama of American counter-culture, its dances, bouffant hairdos, customised cars and rock concerts. Capturing the energy of the age in its portraits of Phil Spector, Cassius Clay, Las Vegas and the Nanny Mafia – as well as asking, why do doormen hate Volkswagens? – Wolfe’s flamboyant essay collection remains one of the great, revolutionary landmarks of modern non-fiction.
'Journalism, it is said, is the first draft of history. Nobody exemplifies the dictum better than Wolfe, the cultural observer and social critic par excellence' Daily Telegraph
You only had to look at him… or read such books as The Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff to know that Tom Wolfe was like no other
Journalism, it is said, is the first draft of history. Nobody exemplifies the dictum better than Wolfe, the cultural observer and social critic par excellence
Effortlessly, elegantly, Tom Wolfe bestrode both fiction and non-fiction… a style at once objective, subjective, and hallucinatory
[Tom Wolfe’s] gleeful use of punctuation and italics, along with entertaining asides and neologisms that often quickly cemented themselves into the English lexicon, helped Wolfe stand out from other journalists
[Wolfe] made literature fun and bores don’t like fun
Aaron Sorkin's new Netflix film has brought the political upheaval of the late-1960s back into focus. Here, from Norman Mailer to Allen Ginsberg, are some books to dive deeper into the trial that put the Vietnam War itself on the stand, and its context.
Rubik's Cubes, Stephen King and Margaret Thatcher – the Eighties have plenty of cultural touchstones. But where to read about them? From Toni Morrison to Tom Wolfe, Alan Hollinghurst to Alice Walker, here are some of the writers who captured the decade best.