As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay - with officer Nestor Camacho on board - Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor, the black police chief, a wanna-go-muckraking young journalist and his Yale-marinated editor; an Anglo sex-addiction psychiatrist and his Latina nurse by day, loin lock by night - until lately, the love of Nestor's life; a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti and her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin' little brother; a billionaire porn addict, crack dealers in the 'hoods, "de-skilled" conceptual artists at the Miami Art Basel Fair, "spectators" at the annual Biscayne Bay regatta looking only for that night's orgy, yenta-heavy ex-New Yorkers at an "Active Adult" condo, and a nest of shady Russians.
Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous bestselling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.
Back to Blood
The Sergeant was easing back on the throttle. The SMACKs became less violent and less frequent as they closed in on the huge white sailboat. They were approaching it from the rear.
Officer Lonnie Kite leaned down over the instrument panel and began looking upward. "Jesus Christ, Sarge, those mastsI never saw masts that high in my life. They're tall as the fucking bridge, and the fucking bridge has a mean water level clearance of eighty-fucking-two feet!"
Busy easing the Safe Boat in alongside the sailboat, the Sergeant didn't so much as glance up. "That's a schooner, Lonnie. You heard a the 'tall ships'?"
"Yeah I think so, Sarge. I guess so."
"They built 'em for speed, back in the nineteenth century. That's why they got masts that tall. That way you get more sail area. Back in the day they used to race out to shipwrecks or incoming cargo ships or whatever to get to the booty sooner. I bet those masts are ...
I have been reading Tom Wolfe for decades ... The manic rhythms and hip verbosity of his writing are instantly recognizable even to the point of repeating various tropes. His propensity for naming and counting the musculature of male characters as well as the delights of female bodies shows up in every book. This book was no different. I was weary of the same old stuff and wondered if Wolfe hadn’t passed his prime. I worried that his use of sexual language went outside the realm of what BookBrowse could recommend to its readers.
And yet – I picked the book back up each time I thought I was done with it. Why? (Reviewed by Judy Krueger).
Full Review (1254 words).
Tom Wolfe was born on March 2, 1931 in Richmond, VA. He was editor of his high school newspaper and sports editor of his college newspaper. His college professor of American Studies, Marshall Fishwick, stressed looking at the entirety of a culture including its profane aspects. Wolfe's books show how much he took this to heart.
After taking a doctorate in American Studies at Yale, he began his working life as a reporter, working for both The Washington Post and the New York Herald Tribune. One of his first feature articles appeared in Esquire magazine. Covering the hot rod and custom car culture of southern California, it was included in and became the title of his first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. Its ...
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