17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A masterpiece of intelligent storytelling,
This review is from: A Man in Full (Paperback)
I often discover great books too late - this one came out in 1998 - but I still wanted to add my voice of congratulations to Mr Wolfe on this amazing piece of work.
I took it on holiday with me after only recently discovering the genius of Bonfire of the Vanities and I was a bit nervous that this wouldn't pack the same emotional punch as that legendary novel .
But I should have had no fears. In truth, I wouldn't even like to judge/compare it against its famous cousin because both have the same power to grab your attention and keep you reading and both prove Tom Wolfe's inspiring ability to tell a cracking, knowing, multi-faceted story.
What we have here, is 800 pages of quality writing and pure page turning drama. Set in modern day Atlanta it features the unforgettable character of Charlie Croker - an all-conquering property developer who is as rich as most countries and yet, as the novel starts, looks to be facing the possible end of his world of immense luxury and power.
We watch with fascination as we see Croker's desperate battle to salvage the world he created and watch with equal (and perhaps more horrible) fascination as he tries to convince himself he is a better person that most of us suspect he actually is .
Intermingled with this riveting main tale are several superb mini-plots which involve politics, racism, sex, family rivalries and corporate America, plus a seemingly unconnected story about a decent, principled man's descent into prison life (and what an astonishing vision of prison hell Wolfe portrays). The relevance of that storyline only starts to connect with the other main threads in the last few pages but it takes the book to a surprising finale . . .
Overall, I have to say this, like Bonfire, is simply a modern day classic. It's a real page turner, written with style and verve and if full of impeccably rounded characters.
It is a book to treasure and admire .
My next 'big' read will be Wolfe's latest novel - I Am Charlotte Symonds - which I will lap up with relish even if George Bush did recommend it. And I am only two years late reading it this time!
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Initial post: 5 Apr 2009 21:51:12 BDT
I couldn't agree with you more.I cant believe that this amazingly intelligent work has an overall rating of 3.5 stars! The prison scenes and the plot surrounding the book on stoicism were particularly inspired, I thought.
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