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.
The Bonfire of the Vanities is a caustic satire on the money-feverish Eighties. This exuberant novel cemented Wolfe's reputation as the foremost chronicler of his age.
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If there is a set-book of the Eighties, it is Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities. No other novel has achieved such a precise place in the imagination of the reading classes. With his first attempt at fiction Wolfe has become the 'Dickens or Balzac of his age'; the dandy journalist has become the towering genius - The Times
Wolfe's modern morality tale displays the sardonic humour and sharp appreciation of the grotesque familiar to admirers of his non fiction... Savagely funny and compelling - Guardian
The air of New York crackles with an energy that causes the adrenalin to pump, until one has the illusion that this is where the whole of life is taking place. The feeling is perfectly reproduced in Wolfe's novel, which opens such cans of worms as racial hostility, dress codes, political labelling and the cynical opportunism that governs every action. It's, well, electric - Sunday Times
It's witty, sprawling and ambitious - Daily Telegraph
Impossible to put down - Wall Street Journal
Delicious fun - New York Times
Moves with a swift comic logic . . . An innovative and imaginative and intricate plot . . .welds Wolfe's descriptions of dinner parties, restaurant games, Wall Street trading, and courthouse chaos into more than a tour de force - Time
Acerbically funny - The Times
Dense with research and bulging with bombast. Yet, it has to be admitted, it's also great fun - Observer
Still very funny and smartly written a good 20 years after it was first published - Sunday Herald
To me this is one of the great American novels, depicting as it does the greed, ambition, and social and racial divisions of the 1980s in New York...a roller-coaster of a read - The Week
Tom Wolfe was born in 1931. He has written for The Washington Post and The New York Herald Tribune and is credited with the creation of 'New Journalism'. Between 1984 and 1985 Wolfe wrote his first novel The Bonfire of the Vanities in serial form for Rolling Stone magazine. The novel was published in 1987. It was number one of the New York Times bestseller list for two months and remained on the list for more than a year. He is the author of sixteen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. He lives in New York City.