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Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
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Back to Blood (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Tom Wolfe, Lou Diamond Phillips (Reader)

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4332324,328 (3.44)17
Member:SigmundFraud
Title:Back to Blood
Authors:Tom Wolfe
Other authors:Lou Diamond Phillips (Reader)
Info:Little, Brown & Company (2012), Edition: Abridged, Audio CD
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:fiction american

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Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe (2012)

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English (22)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Written with flair, at times interesting, particularly suitable for Americans who live in Florida.
  skulli99 | Oct 18, 2014 |
If I had read this book instead of listened to it, I t would have gotten a "meh" rating. Wolfe is great at social satire, but theree are huge logic gaps in the plot, and his characters come perilously close to being two dimensional cardboard cut outs. Lou Diamond Phillipsis a fantastic reader. He does great accents (Cubans, yuppies, Russian oligarchs, Florida retirees), and it sounds like he's having so much fun. A very pleasurable listening experience. ( )
  HenryKrinkle | Jul 23, 2014 |
If Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino decided to make a movie together, a la Do the Right Thing meets Pulp Fiction, and set in Miami, Back to Blood would be that movie. It was a very cinematic read. I have never read Tom Wolfe before, this was my first novel of his, but his style is very onomatopeic? Is that a word? He liked using words that are sounds instead of describing the sound itself. So it was CRAASSH, SMACK, HAH HAHA instead of he crashed, it smacked, or she laughed. It made for a very interesting read.

Back to Blood tells very different narratives that are connected in present day Miami where there is a cesspool of racism running rampant but that's just the way life is. The title, Back to Bloood, refers to being with your own kind. It goes back to your kin.

Officer Nestor Camacho is heralded as a hero to his whiter bretheren on the force for doing his job and rescuing a Cuban refugee. Of course, to his Cubano family, he is villified for sending a poor man back ti Cuba and is ousted from his community.

To make matters even worse, his girlfriend Magdalena, breaks up with him after letting him know that she's been dating someone else. Specifically, her boss Dr. Norman Lewis. Lewis is a psychiatrist specalized in porn addiction.

Other narratives a country bumpkin news reporter looking into a case of art fraud, given to a museum by a highly esteemed Russian, much to the chargin of his news editor, a Creole man who refuses to speak the language but French and grows increasingly at his teenage son doing so and falling into a bad crowd, and Miami's first African American police chief fighting political mind games with the Cubano mayor.

Wolfe did such a good job with these distinct but essentiall the same personalities. I felt bad for Nestor; to be shunned by your family and community is horrible. Speaking for myself, Latino communities are incredibly familial based and to branch off is very difficult. Especially since the collective us very set in their rules not realizing that the world or place you're living plays by a different set.

Growing up in New York City has spoiled me. I am not blind to the rascism but I've never felt it touch me or my family. Perhaps it does happen and I am so used to it I don't realize it anymore. ( )
  Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
If Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino decided to make a movie together, a la Do the Right Thing meets Pulp Fiction, and set in Miami, Back to Blood would be that movie. It was a very cinematic read. I have never read Tom Wolfe before, this was my first novel of his, but his style is very onomatopeic? Is that a word? He liked using words that are sounds instead of describing the sound itself. So it was CRAASSH, SMACK, HAH HAHA instead of he crashed, it smacked, or she laughed. It made for a very interesting read.

Back to Blood tells very different narratives that are connected in present day Miami where there is a cesspool of racism running rampant but that's just the way life is. The title, Back to Bloood, refers to being with your own kind. It goes back to your kin.

Officer Nestor Camacho is heralded as a hero to his whiter bretheren on the force for doing his job and rescuing a Cuban refugee. Of course, to his Cubano family, he is villified for sending a poor man back ti Cuba and is ousted from his community.

To make matters even worse, his girlfriend Magdalena, breaks up with him after letting him know that she's been dating someone else. Specifically, her boss Dr. Norman Lewis. Lewis is a psychiatrist specalized in porn addiction.

Other narratives a country bumpkin news reporter looking into a case of art fraud, given to a museum by a highly esteemed Russian, much to the chargin of his news editor, a Creole man who refuses to speak the language but French and grows increasingly at his teenage son doing so and falling into a bad crowd, and Miami's first African American police chief fighting political mind games with the Cubano mayor.

Wolfe did such a good job with these distinct but essentiall the same personalities. I felt bad for Nestor; to be shunned by your family and community is horrible. Speaking for myself, Latino communities are incredibly familial based and to branch off is very difficult. Especially since the collective us very set in their rules not realizing that the world or place you're living plays by a different set.

Growing up in New York City has spoiled me. I am not blind to the rascism but I've never felt it touch me or my family. Perhaps it does happen and I am so used to it I don't realize it anymore. ( )
  Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
Over recent years I have found myself wondering why John Cleese and Steve Martin seemed to stop being funny, or at what point did Paul McCartney's talent dry up. Alongside these perplexing questions I would like to know what happened to Tom Wolfe, who seems to offer an immense literary enigma.

How can one person write a novel as marvellous, engrossing and iconic as [The Bonfire of the Vanities] and follow it up, at a space of several years each time, with works as lamentable as [A Man in Full], [I Am Charlotte Simmons] and, now, [Back to Blood]. [The Bonfire of the Vanities] caught the dynamic of the late 1980s with searing accuracy, hurling would-be Master of the Universe Sherman McCoy down from his Olympian life after literally taking a wrong turning in the Bronx. Like Thackeray's [Vanity Fair], this was a novel without a hero through it abounded with victims, including McCoy who was ground down through the maws of a rotten criminal prosecution system after his car knocks down Henry Lamb, a young man from the Bronx who is left on a life support system. A rich cast of characters all pursue their separate agendas, each of which is handed masterfully by Wolfe, even though this was his first venture into writing fiction.

Twenty-five years and three novels on and Wolfe's grip seems to have loosened. He does, it is true, come up with an intriguing plot hook, with Nestor Camacho, a Cuban American police officer in Miami becoming involved in the arrest of a Cuban refugee desperate to seek asylum in the United States. His dramatic arrest is captured on live television, and Camacho initially basks in the adulation of his fellow officers, only to find himself ostracised within the Miami Cuban American community who consider that he has turned his back on his roots. Tensions mount and Nestor's life lurches from one crisis to the next.

Though he has a potentially very rich seam to mine, Wolfe never manages to secure the reader's empathy. In [The Bonfire of the Vanities] Sherman McCoy inhabits a world utterly removed from that of most of the readers, and he is an arrogant and spoiled character, but Wolfe was able to make the reader feel his frustration and disbelief as the campaign for "justice" take hold and the District Attorney, with a view to impending re-election campaign, allows himself to be carried along with flow. In this novel I found that I really wasn't interested in Nestor's plight. ( )
1 vote Eyejaybee | Feb 11, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316036315, Hardcover)

A writer like Tom Wolfe probably shouldn’t have to stage a comeback, but there will doubtless be reviewers of his new novel, Back to Blood, who describe it that way. In Wolfe's career of great books, his last novel, published in 2004, was considered by many to be a stumble--but Back to Blood is a return to form, a work that solidifies Wolfe’s stature as one of the best. Using his incisive journalistic skills, his flair for the cinematic moment, and his laugh-out-loud sense of humor, Wolfe takes the disparate types in and around Miami to create a tapestry of memorable scenes and characters. The result is entertaining, revealing, and perhaps even bigger than the sum of its parts. This is a book that will do for Miami what Wolfe's mega-hit The Bonfire of the Vanities did for New York. --Chris Schluep

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:18 -0400)

A colorful cast of residents and visitors to Miami go about their daily activities, both legal and illegal.

(summary from another edition)

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