Wolfe, Tom A Man In Full

ISBN 13: 9780099554776

A Man In Full

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9780099554776: A Man In Full

Charlie Croker was once a fabled college football star and is now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real estate entrepeneur-turned conglomerate king, whose expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 28,000 acre quail shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife and a half-empty downtown tower with a staggering load of debt.

Tom Wolfe was the razor sharp chronicler of the 1980s and now boldly turns to dissect greed-obsessed America on the cusp of the millenium.

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Review:

Ever since he published his classic 1972 essay "Why They Aren't Writing the Great American Novel Anymore," Tom Wolfe has made his fictional preferences loud and clear. For New Journalism's poster boy, minimalism is a wash, not to mention a failure of nerve. The real mission of the American writer is to produce fat novels of social observation--the sort of thing Balzac would be dishing up if he had made it into the Viagra era. Wolfe's manifesto would have had a hubristic ring if he hadn't actually delivered the goods in 1987 with The Bonfire of the Vanities. Now, more than a decade later, he's back with a second novel. Has the Man in White lived up to his own mission?

On many counts, the answer would have to be "yes". Like its predecessor, A Man in Full is a big-canvas work, in which a multitude of characters seems to be ascending or (rapidly) descending the greasy pole of social life: "In an era like this one," a character reminds us, "the 20th century's fin de siècle position was everything, and it was the hardest thing to get." Wolfe has changed terrain on us, to be sure. Instead of New York, the focus here is Atlanta, Georgia, where the struggle for turf and power is at least slightly patinated with Deep South gentility. The plot revolves around Charlie Croker, an egomaniacal good ol' boy with a crumbling real-estate empire on his hands. But Wolfe is no less attentive to a pair of supporting players: a downwardly mobile family man, Conrad Hensley, and Roger White II, an African American attorney at a white-shoe firm. What ultimately causes these subplots to converge--and threatens to ignite a racial firestorm in Atlanta--is the alleged rape of a society deb by Georgia Tech American football star Fareek "The Cannon" Fanon.

Of course, a detailed plot summary would be about as long as your average minimalist novel. Suffice it to say that A Man in Full is packed with the sort of splendid set pieces we've come to expect from Wolfe. A quail hunt on Charlie's 29,000-acre plantation, a stuffed-shirt evening at the symphony, a politically loaded press conference--the author assembles these scenes with contagious delight. The book is also very, very funny. The law firms, like upper- crust powerhouse Fogg Nackers Rendering & Lean, are straight out of Dickens, and Wolfe brings even his minor characters, like professional hick Opey McCorkle, to vivid life:

In true Opey McCorkle fashion he had turned up for dinner wearing a plaid shirt, a plaid necktie, red felt suspenders, and a big old leather belt that went around his potbelly like something could hitch up a mule with, but for now he had cut off his usual torrent of orotund rhetoric mixed with Baker Countyisms.
Readers in search of a kinder, gentler Wolfe may well be disappointed. Retaining the satirist's (necessary) superiority to his subject, he tends to lose his edge precisely when he's trying to move us. Still, when it comes to maximalist portraiture of the American scene--and to sheer, sentence-by-sentence amusement--1998 looks to be the year of the Wolfe, indeed. -- James Marcus, Amazon.com

Review:

"A hugely enjoyable and impressive read, 800-odd pages of splendid plot, terrific characterization and astounding detail... Dickens would have approved" (Harry Ritchie The Times Books of the Year)

"Enthralling enough even to satisfy The Bonfire of the Vanities devotees...humane and redemptive" (Ruth Rendell Sunday Times Books of the Year)

"Fiercely and instantly addictive...this book will be a good friend to you" (Martin Amis Guardian)

"Powerful... Beautiful... As funny as anything Wolfe has ever written; at the same time it is also deeply, strangely affecting" ( New York Times Book Review)

"A masterpiece...the difference between seeing the world in slices and seeing it in full" (Andrew Ferguson Wall Street Journal)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Charlie Croker was once a fabled college football star and is now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real estate entrepeneur-turned conglomerate king, whose expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 28,000 acre quail shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife and a half-empty downtown tower with a staggering load of debt. Tom Wolfe was the razor sharp chronicler of the 1980s and now boldly turns to dissect greed-obsessed America on the cusp of the millenium. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099554776

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Charlie Croker was once a fabled college football star and is now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real estate entrepeneur-turned conglomerate king, whose expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 28,000 acre quail shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife and a half-empty downtown tower with a staggering load of debt. Tom Wolfe was the razor sharp chronicler of the 1980s and now boldly turns to dissect greed-obsessed America on the cusp of the millenium. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099554776

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2011. Paperback. Charlie Croker was once a fabled college football star and is now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real estate entrepeneur-turned conglomerate king, whose expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Num Pages: 752 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 130 x 197 x 39. Weight in Grams: 560. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099554776

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Book Description Vintage, 2011. Book Condition: New. 2011. Paperback. Charlie Croker was once a fabled college football star and is now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real estate entrepeneur-turned conglomerate king, whose expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Num Pages: 752 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 130 x 197 x 39. Weight in Grams: 560. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099554776

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Man In Full, Tom Wolfe, Charlie Croker was once a fabled college football star and is now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real estate entrepeneur-turned conglomerate king, whose expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 28,000 acre quail shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife and a half-empty downtown tower with a staggering load of debt. Tom Wolfe was the razor sharp chronicler of the 1980s and now boldly turns to dissect greed-obsessed America on the cusp of the millenium. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099554776

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