Books: Tom Wolfe: A Man In Full

Tom Wolfe's bodacious new novel, his first in 11 years, proves he still has the right stuff

The megayield critical and commercial success of The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1987 made Tom Wolfe a rich and very gratified author indeed. That big, boisterous novel, his first, proved a point that he had been arguing, much to the annoyance of literary folks, for years: American fiction could still portray the hectic complexities of contemporary social life, could still capture the textures and rhythms of a seething modern city, if novelists would just leave their desks, maybe take a sabbatical from their professorships in creative writing and go out and report on the fabulous stuff taking place all around...

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