A Man in Full epub – Z55z.co

This book is Tom Wolfe s Masterpiece I have read The Electric Kool aid Acid Test and The Bonfire of the Vanities and this is by far his greatest accomplishment I was surprised to read the reviews saying the book is contrived and predictable I thought is was an engaging commentary on American culture Tom Wolfe is first and foremost a social commentator and this book is no exception I generally avoid modern authors as the contemporary authors are weak writers, this book is awesome Ignore the This book is Tom Wolfe s Masterpiece I have read The Electric Kool aid Acid Test and The Bonfire of the Vanities and this is by far his greatest accomplishment I was surprised to read the reviews saying the book is contrived and predictable I thought is was an engaging commentary on American culture Tom Wolfe is first and foremost a social commentator and this book is no exception I generally avoid modern authors as the contemporary authors are weak writers, this book is awesome Ignore the self righteous pretentious reviewers Tom Wolfe is awesome This is a great book in style, and voice and with the prison, the earthquake and the character who spoke Hawaiian pigeon Not for everyone but I sure enjoyed it.d. This big big novel is all about big big things Our 60 year old property developer cracker millionaire teetering on the very edge of bankruptcy Charlie Croker is big all over his trophy wife Serena has big hair and whilst many of her other attributes are tiny waist, wrists a couple of them are also big Her main task is to stroke Charlie s vast money with her exquisitely tiny hands and cast loving glances over him with her big eyes while he makes his big deals Charlie builds big big building This big big novel is all about big big things Our 60 year old property developer cracker millionaire teetering on the very edge of bankruptcy Charlie Croker is big all over his trophy wife Serena has big hair and whilst many of her other attributes are tiny waist, wrists a couple of them are also big Her main task is to stroke Charlie s vast money with her exquisitely tiny hands and cast loving glances over him with her big eyes while he makes his big deals Charlie builds big big buildings, naturally, all over Atlanta, which is a big city Charlie and every other bigshot lives in a very big house And to get the plot going along comes a big problem for the mayor of Atlanta featuring a big sports star who s black and the daughter of another Atlanta bigshot who s white and who s making an accusation of rape Uh oh, this could be big trouble Can Charlie head it off at the pass Every other reviewer mentions two painful things that Tom Wolfe does constantly throughout the 750 pages a character cannot make an appearance without Tom minutely describing what they are wearing and they can t step into a room without Tom minutely describing the wallpaper and every last stick of furniture in it, along with the name of the interior designer s favourite dog.So there s that, but there s another evenannoying thing Tom does I could not see why his editor did not tell him to cut this stupidity right out, but maybe if you re Tom your editor is too scared to suggest anything, so it would be the same reason that Paul McCartney made so many very bad solo albums No John Lennon around to cast withering glances.This third thing is where Tom gives us a phonetic version of deep South English pronounciation whenever there s a character with a strong accent As if none of us, the readers, have the slightest notion of what a deep South accent sounds like Yes, we have never been to the movies or watched tv at all P 316 Figure out who goes in which cars, and you all head on home I m gon be tied up here for a spell Spale We can t let you back on the plane, Mr Croker We re here to arrest it, pursuant to a court order Coat awda.P317 He got hired by the fire department came out He got hard by the Far Department P320 Hell hale the easiest way is, slide a wrench down the intake of an engine P322 Where are whirr the pilots This goes on intermittently throughout the whole novel, from page first to page last layast It s very tiresome By page 100 we had got the idea these people down in Georgia sure do talk funny Alright already.Tom saves his most egregious mistake until the very end, however This is spoilerish so if anyone is going to read this soon, look away now But the idea of Charlie Croker suddenly getting religion, and not only religion but a weird cult version involving Roman Stoic philosophers, is just too silly and something of an insult to the poor reader who has ploughed all the way through It was like a chess player kicking over the table because the game had become too difficult So four stars Well, what can I say, I had too much fun reading this novel I could see all these things wrong with it and yet and yet Tom is such good company He thinks he can do anything and go anywhere Hawaiian gangster pidgin No problem How to put together a quasi legal syndicate in the British Virgin Islands Got that too He is endlessly ebullient, insouciant and all those other things which add up to wanting to pick up a 750 page novel at every opportunity for days at a time Short version the best bad novel for a long long time Ah, what to say about this book that the other reviewers haven t already said One thing this book seems to be present wherever used books are sold Every old shop has a surplus of them It s always on the dollar shelves at book sales Even at the local thrift stores, it s there, sitting right next to Lonesome Dove and Tim Allen s autobiography.This book must find its way to second hand shelves because it s both big AND mainstream In the age of quick selling novellas, there aren t many authors Ah, what to say about this book that the other reviewers haven t already said One thing this book seems to be present wherever used books are sold Every old shop has a surplus of them It s always on the dollar shelves at book sales Even at the local thrift stores, it s there, sitting right next to Lonesome Dove and Tim Allen s autobiography.This book must find its way to second hand shelves because it s both big AND mainstream In the age of quick selling novellas, there aren t many authors who dare to produce leviathan sized novels Sure, there s Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, and David Foster Wallace They all have their own digressive coffee house style, their fanciful artsyness Some people read their novels for bragging rights They place them in conspicuous spots as conversation pieces When you finish Against the Day, or Underworld, or Mason Dixon, you don t want to forget your accomplishment Some prefer to revel in it and lord it over others Perhaps this is why Wallace and Pynchon don t make it to thrift store shelves as frequently as Wolfe A Man in Full is a different kind of big book It is extremely earnest and unaffected In some ways, it belongsto the traditions of the 19th century than to the 20th Tom Wolfe avoids the narrative flourishes of his contemporaries and uses old fashioned and unsubtle plot devices The cast of characters is Dickensian there s a tycoon, a young worker, a scheming banker, a well heeled lady, and a debutante There s a prison break, a bankers shakedown, many backroom deals, dramatic changes of heart Wolfe uses lots of satirical wordplay, which when applied to 20th century popular culture seems slightly contrived viz Wolfe s take on rap music But for my money, there s not a better name for a banker than Raymond Peepgass And the tycoon s faux plantation is named Turpmtine Turp em tine At first the characters interactions are hopelessly stereotypical The tycoon is egotistical and tone deaf, causing the self loathing banker to plot his downfall The tycoon s ex wife, though living in glorious southern style, feels lonely and despondent in her middle years Then, through a combination of implausible events, the lives of the worker and the tycoon collide and in this collision Wolfe reveals his moral message, which is appropriately couched in classical philosophy.The themes Wolfe chooses to address race, power, greed, redemption, and the state of American society are baldly exposed in the first few chapters of A Man in Full Wolfe loves front line reportage, and his unsubtle style is one of his strengths There are many spot on observations in this book, and were it not for its similarity to Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full might have beenwidely admired for its perceptiveness.But back to the size of the book Set against a row of contemporary fiction, this hardcover makes other books look off puttingly puny It is big enough to give most 20th century fiction an inferiority complex Yet it s not a book people keep around to brag about It is an ambitious book and very engaging to read, but it s not a literary ground breaker It can t claim the creative cachet of a Pynchon or a Wallace It contains no shocking conspiracy theories for readers to discuss at dinner parties it doesn t subvert the literary paradigm or do anything radical with the language It is, however, a very insightful and entertaining read, very much worth the 750 pages it fills For its un cynical examination of well worn topics, it is a significant and relevant book worthy of anyone s shelves Interesting story I enjoyed it I like the parallel stories of Conrad and Charlie I would have like the ending to be a bitfleshed out but still good. A major whiff at satire of Atlanta society Wholly unlikable cast of characters, all made of sticks, within jagged story lines, seemingly pasted together The book displays a significant disconnectedness with or misunderstanding of Southern U.S culture in a way that is inexcusable in satire Moreover, the thematic thread of Stoicism appeared mostly forced and,significantly, exposed illogicality and gaping gaps in the novel s arc.The worst of the three Tom Wolfe novels I ve read Bonfire o A major whiff at satire of Atlanta society Wholly unlikable cast of characters, all made of sticks, within jagged story lines, seemingly pasted together The book displays a significant disconnectedness with or misunderstanding of Southern U.S culture in a way that is inexcusable in satire Moreover, the thematic thread of Stoicism appeared mostly forced and,significantly, exposed illogicality and gaping gaps in the novel s arc.The worst of the three Tom Wolfe novels I ve read Bonfire of the Vanities, 5 stars I Am Charlotte Simmons, 3 stars.In a word,Sad The novel as a whole, not its story or me upon finishing it.And, bad The Barnes Noble Review Before THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, the literary question of the day was, Could Tom Wolfe, the self proclaimed avatar of the New Journalism, write fictionAfter BONFIRE, that question quickly became, Yeah, but can he do it againDelayed by a number of false starts, revisions, and in , a heart attack and subsequent quintuple bypass surgery, the publication of A MAN IN FULL marks Wolfe s return to the literary arena after than a decade of conspicuous absenceA MAN IN FULL is a sprawling novel of Dickensian proportions and scope, a philosophical exploration of modern manhood, fin de si cle morality, political gamesmanship, and racial identity, all informed by the underlying themes of reinvention and rebirth Gone are the era encapsulating catch phrases of his previous books there s no radical chic, no right stuff, no me decade, or masters of the universe to be found here Instead, Wolfe has devoted his considerable talents to grounding his fiction firmly in journalistic fact, and to addressing one of the most substantial criticisms leveled at BONFIRE that its characters were little than cardboard cutouts, one dimensional caricatures artfully arranged in a variety of strategic postures In the central protagonists of A MAN IN FULL, Charlie Croker, Conrad Hensley, and Roger White, Wolfe has created memorable characters that rise above stereotypes thinking, feeling characters that surprise even themselves in pursuing the possibilities open to themThe bulk of Wolfe s novel takes place in the de facto capitol of theNewSouth, and what better place to set a novel of rebirth than Atlanta Twice rebuilt from the ashes of devastating conflagrations a phoenix figures prominently in the city seal , Atlanta has a pragmatic history of remaking itself to suit the shifting allegiances of industry and social makeup Not a true Southern city like Savannah, Charleston, or Richmond, Atlanta s crass commercial heritage uniquely qualifies it for the role Wolfe has in mind It is here that Charlie Croker, a former Georgia Tech football star known as the Sixty Minute Man, has parlayed his gridiron fame into a vast real estate empire A formidable figure who, at , still considers himself connected to the rude animal vitality of his youth, Charlie may not be a master of the universe, but he is certainly master of a domain that includes a , acre plantation in southwestern Georgia named Turpmtine pronounced T,u,rchokengkomakomachokeng m,t,i,n,e in the manner of the th century slaves who produced the plantation s original product , a palatial home in Buckhead, an opulently appointed Gulfstream Five jet, and the underleased, overfinanced office tower in one of Atlanta s edge cities known as Croker Concourse As the result of overextending himself to erect this massive boondoggle, Charlie finds himself in default to his creditors to the sum ofmillion His largest creditor, PlannersBanc, is the first to welcome him to the sober s with the news that it s the morning afterand Croker Global s got the biggest hangover in the history of debt defalcation in the Southeastern Yew nited StatesIn the brilliantly executed chapter that follows, Charlie and Croker Global are given a humiliating workout by the bank s aptly named Real Estate Asset Management Department REAMD for gross mismanagement of funds Trust Wolfe to ferret out the one interesting aspect of banking and to portray it convincingly Faced with the prospect of losing his beloved Turpmtine, not to mention his Gee Five and themillion personal dividend he reaps from the company each year, Charlie does what any beleaguered capitalist would do he lays off workers in Croker Global s underperforming food divisionOn the opposite side of the country, this arbitrary decision results in the swift and utter disfranchisement of Conrad Hensley,year old husband and father of two Responsible, conscientious, and painfully na ve, Conrad dreams of attaining the bourgeois life he read about during his brief career in Community College Order, moral rectitude, courtesy, co operation, education, financial success, comfort, respectability, pride in one s offspring, and, above all, domestic tranquillity are his ideals The bewildering descent from a body and soul killing job in the Croker Global Freezer Warehouse to his fateful confrontation with the authorities a series of missteps that begins with a degrading job interview, progresses to his car being wrongfully impounded, and ends with Conrad doing jailtime for aggravated assault in the Santa Rita Correctional Facility is a haunting evocation of the powerlessness and humiliation of life at rock bottom Wolfe memorably satirizes this manifestation of Reagan era trickle down economics in an episode where Conrad is treated to a jailhouse baptism by pizzooka If you can t summon up an appropriate mental image of this process, you re just not trying Only the timely arrival of a book of Stoic philosophy Conrad had requested a bestselling legal procedural titled THE STOIC S GAME, and instead received a copy of THE STOICS and the nearly incoherent reassurances of his Hawaiian cellmate, Five O, keep him goingMeanwhile, back in Atlanta, the novel s racially charged subplot is beginning to simmer Roger White II, a successful black attorney he cannot yet bring himself to embrace Jesse Jackson s coinage, African American , has been summoned to the Buckhead manor of Georgia Tech football coach Buck McNutter to deffuse a potentially explosive incident The daughter of one of Atlanta s most powerful white businessmen has privately accused Georgia Tech s star running back, Fareek The Cannon Fannon, of date raping her during Freaknic weekend Roger, a light skinned blueblood whose tastes run to Stravinsky and bespoke suits his detested nickname is Roger Too White , is given the unenviable task of approaching his childhood friend and fellow Morehouse Man Wes Jordan now mayor of Atlanta for help in containing the situation But Andre Fleet, a blacker than thou opportunist who rails against the complicity of beige half brothers and bluntly proclaims that it is high time Atlanta had its firstBLACK MAYOR, seeks to exploit Fannon s predicament for his own political ends And unless Roger and Wes can enlist an unlikely ally from Atlanta s white elite, the city is certain to erupt along its racial fault linesHow Wolfe joins these three major plot lines, along with an assortment of minor, but no less captivating threads, is nothing less than astonishing Those who may find the quasi religious elements of the denouement a bit far fetched need only consider the rapid growth and alarming influence of certain less palatable philosophies such as the Church of Scientology to see how plausible Wolfe s conceit really isAn inveterate cultural beachcomber, Wolfe sometimes goes too far and other times not far enough in spiking his narrative with his latest pop discoveries His attempts at rap lyrics are predictably hilarious, and in all fairness, he may well have intended them to be What else could explain a Country Metal band named The Pus Casserole Puns on the order of a faithful black retainer referred to as Auntie Bella, or a law firm called Wringer Fleasom Tick fare better A fussily dressedyear old white guy can be forgiven, perhaps, for rhyming akimbo with bimbo, but was it really necessary to use it four times over the course of the book Novelists take note One akimbo per book, please Wolfe has always had a fascination with physical appearances, not least his own But in A MAN IN FULL, physiognomy has become an obsession Not a chapter elapses without a thorough cataloguing of bodily attributes The constant carnal barrage of mesomorphs, endomorphs, stringy necked jogging junkies, slim hipped trophy wives, thick torsoed jowly matrons, broad shoulders, massive necks, prodigious forearms, and loamy loins nearly forgot the mantra, boys with breasts takes a wearying toll afterpages Similarly, what are we to make of the constant transliteration of Charlie s cracker dialect These parentheticals are certainly useful for deciphering jailhouse gang slang and Five O s mystifying pidgin, but surely the one lasting contribution of the Carter presidency is that most of us are able to recognize a Georgia accent Lastly, is there anyone on this planet not born into a New Guinea cargo cult who needs Tom Wolfe to explain the iconography of Michael Jackson and his trademark gloveThese are minor complaints in a novel of this complexity and wit, noticeable only because so much of Wolfe s eavesdropping is spot on There isn t a wrong note in the dynamic between Roger White and Wes Jordan black elitists learning late in their careers the political value of nurturing the African American within The minutely choreographed interplay between Atlanta s movers and shakers at the opening of a homoerotic art exhibit is a dramatic marvel And however painful, Wolfe s depiction of the social invisibility endured by the discarded first wives of corporate captains like Charlie Croker has the ugly sting of truth But then, like an impish Puck holding up a mirror to all humanity, Wolfe has made a career of showing us our ugly truthsGreg Marrs I can t believe I bought this 740 page pop seller It is so unlike what I usually read I m glad I broke out of the box and read it It is well written, fascinating, thought provoking, delightful, fairly light reading, even at 700 pages I read it in less than a week, as I just couldn t put it down This is the first Tom Wolfe book I ve read The story evolves around 4 main characters, and one of them ends up in jail I decided to skip many of the jail sections, as I cringed at the violence that I can t believe I bought this 740 page pop seller It is so unlike what I usually read I m glad I broke out of the box and read it It is well written, fascinating, thought provoking, delightful, fairly light reading, even at 700 pages I read it in less than a week, as I just couldn t put it down This is the first Tom Wolfe book I ve read The story evolves around 4 main characters, and one of them ends up in jail I decided to skip many of the jail sections, as I cringed at the violence that was there Wrong decision It turns out that the jail pages are the glue that holds the whole book together I ve had to go back now, and read those pages, and although I hate reading about violence, it all makes sense The main character is a 63 year old former football player, and his aging, and the aging of his first wife, the age of his second wife, are strongly presented in the book It is funny, pathetic, and a part of life that I can completely empathize with Charlie Croker is one pig headed cracker from the old South Charlie raises horses, fearlessly handles snakes, shoots quail, runs his own fleet of jets, is married to a younger, beautiful woman, and is in general a good ole boy even owns an honest ta gawd plantation where all the helpin folk are black Mr Croker is also a man in prime need of a humbling experience Charlie is a real estate developer and his most serious problems result from a wide body ego coupled with backward planning de Charlie Croker is one pig headed cracker from the old South Charlie raises horses, fearlessly handles snakes, shoots quail, runs his own fleet of jets, is married to a younger, beautiful woman, and is in general a good ole boy even owns an honest ta gawd plantation where all the helpin folk are black Mr Croker is also a man in prime need of a humbling experience Charlie is a real estate developer and his most serious problems result from a wide body ego coupled with backward planning desire it, act on it followed by plan for it, pay for it Charlie becomes overextended on a real estate deal for a development that is largely a monument to himself, even named it The Croker Concourse This leads to a workout session at Planners Bank, where Charlie is given a most unpleasant reception Wolfe describes the scene in vintage style, casting a rheumy eye on corporate America and its ugly military efficiency and total bottom line orientation It is at this point where you will realize that you have come to like Charlie Croker, that you are pulling for this humus head from south of the gnat line, that Croker, raw and crude as he is, contains a genuine spirit and optimism that has been squelched in the rest of us.Politics and money drive the entire story Wolfe shows how saturated Americans are with these two Noble Truths Even Conrad the Stoic s actions, the character with the spiritual soul of this 787 page journey, were brought about by the frustrations of not being an economically viable member of society Wolfe s satire is as biting as a side ache, unfortunately, the truth running beneath the humor is a sobering one This is the kind of book our grand kids will read and when they finish it, they will close the book and exclaim, My god, were you people ever messed up I especially liked the chapters dealing with Atlanta s black mayor He is like an inverted Oreo, posing publicly as white for the money constituents from the wealthy white neighborhoods, and posing privately as black for the less economically powerful, butnumerous black voters The tribal art collection ebbs and flows through his office in accordance with the political tide.Wolfe brings the Mayor, Croker and Planners Bank together on an issue that threatens to explode the entire city in racial tension Fareek Fanon, a black football star is accused of raping a white woman from one of Atlanta s most influential families If Croker, a former football great speaks out on Fareek s behalf, maybe the mayor can help him with all his debts to Planners Bank Maybe someone high up in Planners Bank will be owed a valuable gift in return for forgiving Crokers debt And if the mayor quells the coming riots, maybe he can reclaim the straying voters and get reelected Everyone is itching and planning for the scratch, but greed and political chess playing enter the equation, creating a centrifugal force that sucks some characters into the melee and spins others off into ruin A Man in Full is ruthless and wicked writing from an author who portrays the face of American society with a magnifying glass held over the warts and moles Tom Wolfe s 1998 novel A Man in Full is very close to being an American homage to Charles Dickens in style Wolfe himself describes his writing style as journalism based fiction I think this means the book s fictional characters and intertwined plots which spin around each other must be based on real life with the names changed to mask what were real people and events The various settings warehouses, prisons, City Hall, museums, mansions, banks, restricted membership clubs, poor and wealth Tom Wolfe s 1998 novel A Man in Full is very close to being an American homage to Charles Dickens in style Wolfe himself describes his writing style as journalism based fiction I think this means the book s fictional characters and intertwined plots which spin around each other must be based on real life with the names changed to mask what were real people and events The various settings warehouses, prisons, City Hall, museums, mansions, banks, restricted membership clubs, poor and wealthy neighborhoods definitely seem real The book is a widescreen look at Atlanta, Georgia the way politics and business interests carefully hookup and breakup The discomfort of forced alliances between the remnants of White rich good ol boys still living the antebellum life and themodern Black politicians and White businessmen is satirically described Everyone must still handle the rich good ol boys gently because of their lingering influence on politics and journalists and other social spheres.The world of power in 1998 Atlanta is one fueled by money and entirely controlled by men Women are all spousal trophies, whether they are ex, current, or future daughters The one and only thing disturbing the usual and customary reliance on money to determine the pecking orders of powerful interests is the friction of Race interactions, ever present in America and especially the South during this era In this book, a popular college football player who is Black is accused of raping a wealthy man s daughter during a party Inman Armholster is the head of a chemicals conglomerate and very likely the richest man in Georgia Elizabeth, his daughter claims Fareek Fanon, top athletic of Georgia Tech, raped her.But there s muchCharlie Croker is at the center of what happens in the book He is a good ol boy, owner of a plantation, factories, warehouses, and a jet He is a real estate mogul Or, he was He has borrowed too much money to finance the building of a financial center away from Atlanta The finished office buildings and supporting structures did not fill up with bankers and other finance related businesses as the economy slowed down when the center opened Renters are not showing up Charlie can t believe the lenders are threatening to take his plantation, paintings and other furnishings, his factories and his jet Politicians and bankers used to stand up respectfully when he entered rooms Now, they are openly despising his good ol boy lifestyle and mannerisms along with tittering at his money problems.Various politicians, lawyers and bankers begin to circle Croker as the rumor of his bankruptcy begins to be known The smell of financial blood in the water excites rather than dismays these fellows view spoiler One group, a mixture of Georgia Tech coaches, lawyers and Black politicians, hope to pressure Croker into supporting Fareek s claim of innocence Croker is a well known Southern cracker and friend of Armholster If he does this, the bank will extend his loan But it means putting his entire life under someone else s control and his friendships will be at risk hide spoiler Another thread in the story does not seem remotely a part of the drama in Atlanta Eventually it connects with the struggle between the 1 percenters of Atlanta It might seem like a weird and improbable join, and it is, but having known some wealthy folk and their lifestyles, I know this happens Conrad Hensley, a warehouse worker in Oakland and a married father of two, makes some terrible decisions He is a poor man, and his poverty exacerbates his mistakes exponentially He finds himself in prison Wolfe writes of society, people and politics with the tip of his tongue slightly protruding rather than tucked into his cheek in controlled laughter One can sense his slight shock that this stuff he is fictionalizing for us in his novels or revealing in his nonfiction books is true to real life behind the curtain of masculine power and politics I no longer wonder at how journalists become cynical and yet still fascinated by human nature