5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A superb novel,
By A Customer
This review is from: A Man in Full (Paperback)
After a ten year absence from fiction, Tom Wolfe has produced a book of true quality. The pithy social observation and gripping style exhibited in his previous work has clearly not diminshed with the passing of years.
The sheer scope and range of themes encompassed in 'A Man in full' represents a great achivement. It was always going to be difficult to deal with the difficult issues involved in the south's transition from arable and secondary industry to a place in the new tertiary economy without descending into cliche or sterotyping. However, Wolfe manages to adeptly convey this issue through strong character development, but whilst maintaining a clear sense of reality.
The narrative itself is pacy and gripping. The reader travels through time and place, from Atlanta to Oakland. Wolfe is able, through the book's length, to create detailed studies of several distinct protagonists, each with a paticular moral issue to confront. At the outset, it is not at all clear how these characters mesh together. Gradually, tenuous connections are formed, slithers of information linking apparently polar-opposite individuals. At this basic level, it is then, a great detective story.
The only real fault is the ending, which seems somehow contrived and hurried. After the careful, assiduous development of the characters in the early chapters, it seems they are discarded suddenly and without a true culmination.