An exhilarating satire of Eighties excess that captures the effervescent spirit of New York, from one of the greatest writers of modern American prose.
Sherman McCoy is a WASP, bond trader and self-appointed 'Master of the Universe'. He has a fashionable wife, a Park Avenue apartment and a Southern mistress. His spectacular fall begins the moment he is involved in a hit-and-run accident in the Bronx. Prosecutors, newspaper hacks, politicians and clergy close in on him, determined to bring him down.
Exuberant, scandalous and exceptionally discerning, The Bonfire of the Vanities was Tom Wolfe's first venture into fiction and cemented his reputation as the foremost chronicler of his age.
'The air of New York crackles with an energy that causes the adrenalin to pump... The feeling is perfectly reproduced in Wolfe's novel... Electric' Sunday Times
'The quintessential novel of The Eighties' The Guardian
A noisy satire on Manhattan’s Wall Street cash-bloated plutocracy… Hugely readable.
If there is a set-book of the Eighties, it is Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities. No other novel has achieved such a precise place in the imagination of the reading classes. With his first attempt at fiction Wolfe has become the 'Dickens or Balzac of his age'; the dandy journalist has become the towering genius
Wolfe's modern morality tale displays the sardonic humour and sharp appreciation of the grotesque familiar to admirers of his non fiction... Savagely funny and compelling
The air of New York crackles with an energy that causes the adrenalin to pump, until one has the illusion that this is where the whole of life is taking place. The feeling is perfectly reproduced in Wolfe's novel, which opens such cans of worms as racial hostility, dress codes, political labelling and the cynical opportunism that governs every action. It's, well, electric
It's witty, sprawling and ambitious
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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.