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The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965)

by Tom Wolfe

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735512,706 (3.59)9
1960s (130)

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Showing 5 of 5
Wolfe's interesting exposé of various aspects of the early 60's. Very interesting read, particularly with the amount of time has passed. It's a contemporary look at that period of time. ( )
  RDHawk6886 | Mar 15, 2012 |
I knew from reviews this book was a documentary about the mid 1960's, the social scene in Las Vegas and California, hotrods, custom built cars, and pop music. But it was not what I expected. I love Tom Wolfe's writing style and he did live up to his reputation of capturing the essence of the era, but unlike THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST (which I really loved) this book is more like a series of short stories focusing on specific cultural topics. Unfortunately, the majority of the topics I could not relate to....at all, even though I was in my late teens during that era. The chapters on the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Cassius Clay were great. But chapters on hotrods, custom cars, and drag racing were definitely written for the male reader. And topics like nannies in Central Park, and Hartford (who?), and Jane Holzer (girl of the year...but I never heard of her), and the art gallery society were just plain boring. I was expecting more the middle class main street America scene. ( )
  LadyLo | May 31, 2008 |
I was very excited to read this book. The first third I loved it. It has a definate flow. you need to get into the flow to read it. It definately had a very close feel to the works of Hunter Thompson; very descriptive with humerous undertones. As I flew through the first third, I looked forward to reading it and picked it up every night.
Entering the second section I found it dropped off dramatically. At times it was even hard to follow. Im not sure if I lost the flow or if the second and third sections were just completely diff. I actually had to push myself to finish this book, which was sad due to my passion at the start.
either way, I definately recommend this title. Maynbe I missed something? ( )
  megrockstar | Mar 31, 2008 |
This book is a collection of articles that Mr. Wolfe has written for whatever magazine he was writing for in the Sixties. It is an interesting read and a snap shot of the era, however it at times seems a little dry and the editing of profanity and proper names is a little disorienting. I prefer Hunter for this style of journalism. ( )
2 vote burningtodd | Feb 14, 2008 |
Tom Wolfe gives us a collection of snapshots from America in the late 1960's in this collection of short stories. He introduces us to such characters as Murray the K, Phil Spector, Jimmy Johnson, as well as a slew of stories about New Yorkers. All are non-fiction and all are told in that characteristic Wolfe style. A must read for any fan of Wolfe or anyone looking to gain insight into America at that particular time period. ( )
1 vote pbirch01 | Sep 18, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553380583, Paperback)

The "streamline baby" in Tom Wolfe's 1965 debut book is a hot rod, but the car's candy colors and wild lines can't match the prose style Wolfe devised to describe them. The title essay--Wolfe's first magazine article--launched the New Journalism, partly because its original title was "There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored (Thphhhhhh!) Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (Rahghhh!) Around the Bend (Brummmmmmmmmmmmmmm)..." His voice was more shocking than any subculture he uncovered. Until Wolfe (Ph.D., Yale), nobody struck gold by applying Ph.D.-speak to lowbrow subjects. Kurt Vonnegut famously called this an "excellent book by a genius who will do anything to get attention."

Now that everybody does what Wolfe did, his early essays smack less of genius. But attention must be paid to this pioneering peek into King Pop's tomb. The most startling thing is how soberly sensible most of the prose now appears, except for the title of the first essay, "Las Vegas (What?) Las Vegas (Can't Hear You! Too Noisy) Las Vegas!!!" which anticipates the far superior Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Mostly, these articles seem like straightforward introductions to some of the signal figures of the early '60s: hot-rod designer Big Daddy Roth, surf guitarist Dick Dale, teen recording tycoon Phil Spector, Andy Warhol debutante Baby Jane Holzer, the Cassius Clay-era Muhammad Ali. We even glimpse the Beatles in a profile of the yappy DJ Murray the K in "The Fifth Beatle."

The last half of the book focuses more on New York and its denizens' endless combat for social status. The last piece, "The Big League Complex," is like a 1964 warm-up exercise for The Bonfire of the Vanities. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:45 -0400)

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