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Its a brilliant book. Tom Wolfe had me reading again.
I listened to A Man In Full on tape, and I was utterly enthralled with the plot line, the fine characterizations, and the knowing depiction of Americans at various levels on the economic scale. The juxtaposition of Conrad and Charley demonstates what it takes to truly be a "man" in the time-honored sense of the word. Conrad, once employed in Charlie's suicidal freezer unit, a law-breaking, ex-con, comes out on top without question. I was captivated and found 700 pages not nearly long enough. I could have gone on and on listening to the tale of this country represented by two poles-apart men
In 'A Man in Full' Tom Wolfe has tried to capture the essence of a time period, as he has done so masterfully in the past. Unfortunately, this time around it becomes too obvious too soon that Mr. Wolfe has reached way too far in his attempts at journalistic fiction. Mr Wolfe's eye for detail has always been apparent.
However, he proves that he has not ventured far from New York or his white collar lifestyle in this novel. Stick to writing about what you know, Mr. Wolfe, not what you study from internist Charlie Croker. While the development of Croker's character was well laid out for the first part of the book, his eventual "come uppance" reeks of a hurried ending and creative juices that suddenly fell apart.
Mr. Wolfe needs to return to his nonfiction, journalistic endeavors. He has the ability to record the nuances of today's society in a much better fashion than this rehashing of previous work that never quite convinces the reader that Mr. Wolfe knows what he is writing about.
Tremendously satisfying character development. No hidden agendas. a page turner. Wolfe seems to have been in a hurry to finish. The wrap-up ending was somewhat disappointing.
Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full is not only an outstandingly entertaining book, but one that leaves the reader feeling deeply satisfied. Where one would be hard pressed to find a character in Bonfire of the Vanities to feel empathy toward, A Man in Full is loaded with a rambling assortment of players whose scale runs from the tragic hero to the buffoonish loser. This is truly a novel of morality in America, and perhaps catches the flavor of our time with the same clarity of his earlier work, both fiction and non-fiction.
Many people will hate this book because of its frank honesty; perhaps those are the people who need to read it most!
A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe is not, in my opinion, a page-turner. Rich men who discard their wives is the fare of T.V. soap. What happens in the first 200 pages is predictable. Is it worth continuing? Why?