'A great journalist with a whip-like satirical prose style… Wolfe’s great gift is to make the heavy seem light and this book is such an entertaining polemic that I read it in a day and immediately wanted to read it again.' - Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey through language. The Kingdom of Speech is a paradigm-shifting argument that speech - not evolution - is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievements.
From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in our Kingdom of Speech.
A great journalist with a whip-like satirical prose style… Wolfe’s great gift is to make the heavy seem light and this book is such an entertaining polemic that I read it in a day and immediately wanted to read it again.
You’re in the hands of a master who has never written a dull word in his life. Tom Wolfe, America’s greatest man of letters, is 85 and still fizzing with energy and insight… Wolfe packs a lot in it, [The Kingdom of Speech] writing with the fluency and vigour of a man one-third his age.
The style is instantly recognisable, and the book hurtles on for 160 pages of wicked, opinionated, high-velocity prose.
A marvelous mix of gleeful energy and whip-around-the-neck control, and his book is a gas to read.
It is clear how much we have missed him… The wonder of his book is its point of view. He is a polemicist, a slayer of reputation and pretension… It is wonderful to have him back.