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A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
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A Man in Full (1998)

by Tom Wolfe

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English (34)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Perhaps my favorite Tom Woolfe book
  JoshSapan | May 29, 2019 |
Wolfe's description of the events leading up to a character's imprisonment is priceless! I think we have all had days that just seem to go from bad to worse, but this one takes the cake. Parts of this book reminded me of Koszinki's _Being There_. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this. Such a pleasure to find an author with the confidence to unfurl. Thematically there are similarities with Bonfire and the satire is firmly fixed on vanity and pride and social status. I wanted bad things to happen to Croker and good things to happen to Conrad. Excellent ending, which I think raised the level above satire. Very funny throughout ( )
  Lukerik | May 12, 2015 |
A fabulous book that fizzled at the end. I suppose I expected another earthquake for Charlie, but Zeus has his ways. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
"A Man Half Full": The longer one reads A Man in Full, the more one comes to decide that no matter its large virtues, it was chosen by the author to be a best seller rather than a major novel... The book has gas and runs out of gas, fills up again, goes dry. It is a 742-page work that reads as if it is fifteen hundred pages long. This is, to a degree, a compliment, since it is very rich in material. But, given its high intentions, it is also tiresome, for it takes us down the road of too many overlong and predictable scenes. Electric at best, banal at worst—banal like a long afternoon spent watching soap operas—one picks it up each day to read another hundred pages with the sense that the book not only offers pleasure but the strain of encountering prose that disappoints as often as it titillates.
added by danielx | editNYRB, Norman Mailer (Dec 14, 1998)
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Wolfeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baardman, GerdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonkheer, ChristienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lameris, MarianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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With immense admiration the author dedicates A Man in Full to Paul McHugh whose brilliance, comradeship, and unfailing kindness saved the day. This book would not exist had it not been for you, dear friend.


And the author wants to express a gratitude beyond measure to Mack and Mary Taylor who opened his eyes to the wonders of Atlanta and the Georgia plantation country and gave him the run of their vast storehouse of knowledge and insights, all with a hospitality he will never forget.
First words
Charlie Croker, astride his favorite Tennessee walking horse, pulled his his shoulders back to make sure he was erect in the saddle and took a deep breath ... Ahh, that was the ticket ... (Prologue)
For a while the freaknic traffic inched up Piedmont ... inched up Piedmont ... inched up Piedmont ... inched up as far as Tenth Street ... and then inched up the slope beyond Tenth Street ... inched up as far as Fifteenth Street ... whereupon it came to a complete, utter, hopeless, bogged-down glue-trap halt, both ways, northbound, southbound, going and coming, across all four lanes.
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This book was written by Tom Wolfe, not Julian Barnes.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553381334, Paperback)

Ever since he published his classic 1972 essay "Why They Aren't Writing the Great American Novel Anymore," Tom Wolfe has made his fictional preferences loud and clear. For New Journalism's poster boy, minimalism is a wash, not to mention a failure of nerve. The real mission of the American writer is to produce fat novels of social observation--the sort of thing Balzac would be dishing up if he had made it into the Viagra era. Wolfe's manifesto would have had a hubristic ring if he hadn't actually delivered the goods in 1987 with The Bonfire of the Vanities. Now, more than a decade later, he's back with a second novel. Has the Man in White lived up to his own mission?

On many counts, the answer would have to be yes. Like its predecessor, A Man in Full is a big-canvas work, in which a multitude of characters seems to be ascending or (rapidly) descending the greasy pole of social life: "In an era like this one," a character reminds us, "the twentieth century's fin de siècle, position was everything, and it was the hardest thing to get." Wolfe has changed terrain on us, to be sure. Instead of New York, the focus here is Atlanta, Georgia, where the struggle for turf and power is at least slightly patinated with Deep South gentility. The plot revolves around Charlie Croker, an egomaniacal good ol' boy with a crumbling real-estate empire on his hands. But Wolfe is no less attentive to a pair of supporting players: a downwardly mobile family man, Conrad Hensley, and Roger White II, an African American attorney at a white-shoe firm. What ultimately causes these subplots to converge--and threatens to ignite a racial firestorm in Atlanta--is the alleged rape of a society deb by Georgia Tech football star Fareek "The Cannon" Fanon.

Of course, a detailed plot summary would be about as long as your average minimalist novel. Suffice it to say that A Man in Full is packed with the sort of splendid set pieces we've come to expect from Wolfe. A quail hunt on Charlie's 29,000-acre plantation, a stuffed-shirt evening at the symphony, a politically loaded press conference--the author assembles these scenes with contagious delight. The book is also very, very funny. The law firms, like upper-crust powerhouse Fogg Nackers Rendering & Lean, are straight out of Dickens, and Wolfe brings even his minor characters, like professional hick Opey McCorkle, to vivid life:

In true Opey McCorkle fashion he had turned up for dinner wearing a plaid shirt, a plaid necktie, red felt suspenders, and a big old leather belt that went around his potbelly like something could hitch up a mule with, but for now he had cut off his usual torrent of orotund rhetoric mixed with Baker Countyisms.
Readers in search of a kinder, gentler Wolfe may well be disappointed. Retaining the satirist's (necessary) superiority to his subject, he tends to lose his edge precisely when he's trying to move us. Still, when it comes to maximalist portraiture of the American scene--and to sheer, sentence-by-sentence amusement--1998 looks to be the year of the Wolfe, indeed. --James Marcus

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A satire on America featuring a capitalist trying to avoid ruin. The hero is Charlie Croker of Altanta whose plantation and skyscraper face repossession by banks for non-repayment of a loan. One way out might be to request leniency in return for hushing up a rape.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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