Monday 18 February 2019

Book Review: The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (Modern Classic)

Title: The Bonfire of the Vanities
Author: Tom Wolfe

Publication Date: 2010 (1987)
Modern Classic
Xmas Gift


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 Bonfire of the Vanities is a book that snuck up on me. At first I thought, 'Oh, okay'. Then suddenly, about halfway through, I realised I was completely sucked in. I really felt for Sherman. He has his faults, but he doesn't deserve what happens to him. In many ways, this book is as relevant today as it was in the 80s, with its discussion of race relations, the justice system, and the role of the media. This story was a solid 4.5 stars for me, and I highly recommend it to any and all readers.

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