The Bonfire of the Vanities (Wolfe)

What an amazingly intense, funny, and accurate book. For a time, I was reading this alongside a biography of Basquiat, and the overlap – in terms of descriptions of excess – was remarkable. Though the book checks in at just shy of 700 pages, there is not a page wasted as Wolfe creates characters whose lives revolve around one incident that happens one night in the Bronx. Despite his fondness for unsubtle names (Bacon, Lamb, etc.), Wolfe’s book could easily be one of the proverbial “ripped from the headlines” stories. No one and no moment is spared. This is a classic.

All I remember about the movie is the controversy around the selection of Tom Hanks. I’m curious about it, though I am not that interested in watching it. Wolfe’s world was more than enough. And that, I suppose, was part of the problem.


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