Readers' Review: "The Bonfire of the Vanities" By Tom Wolfe | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Filed Under:

Readers' Review: "The Bonfire of the Vanities" By Tom Wolfe

“The Bonfire of the Vanities” was Tom Wolfe’s 11th book and first novel. Inspired by Thackeray’s 19th century satire “Vanity Fair,” Wolfe set out to capture the essence of high and low society in 1980s New York. The story centers on Sherman McCoy, a wealthy bond trader and self-regarded "master of the universe." His life is destroyed when he and his mistress make a wrong turn into the Bronx one night. Critics said Wolfe’s portrayal of urban class and race came as close as fiction could to breaking news. It’s the 25th anniversary of the novel, and this month’s Readers’ Review.

Read An Excerpt

“Prologue: Mutt on Fire” excerpt from The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. The Bonfire of the Vanities copyright © 1987 by Tom Wolfe. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Picador and Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

NPR

After The Presents, A Buttery Tea Cake Tradition

For one family in Overland Park, Kan., it's not Christmas without Mrs. Lawrence. The tea cake, rich with butter and spices, is named for the neighbor who would hand deliver it every holiday season.
NPR

What Would Jesus Drink? A Class Exploring Ancient Wines Asks

The details of wine and winemaking practices in biblical times are debated among experts. But we do know that vino in Christ's day was very different from what we imbibe today.
NPR

What To Expect In The 2016 Presidential Announcement Season

With Jeb Bush signaling he's likely to run for president in 2016, it's another sign that the presidential announcement season is underway. Here's a look at who has jumped in the race early and what to expect in the coming months.
NPR

Online Sellers Pop Up In Real Life, For A Limited Time Only

One-click shopping is changing the ways people shop and retailers sell their wares. But some online retailers are opening physical stores — some of which last as short as a day.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.