The Bonfire of the Vanities

The Bonfire of the Vanities

Book - 2008 | First Picador edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
6
Sherman McCoy, a young investment banker in Manhattan, finds himself arrested following a freak accident and becomes involved with prosecutors, politicians, the press, and assorted hustlers.
Publisher: New York : Picador, 2008
Edition: First Picador edition
ISBN: 9780312427573
0312427573
Branch Call Number: FICTION WOLFE
Characteristics: xiv, 685 pages ; 21 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
d
dennismmiller
Jun 14, 2019

Sherman McCoy imagines himself a Master of the Universe, spending his days making multi-million-dollar bond trades, or, as his wife puts it, collecting golden crumbs. Larry Kramer is an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, Jewish by birth but Irish by vocation, his heavy caseload and meager pay compensated for by fantasies of power and virility. Peter Fallow is a reporter for the City Light tabloid, struggling to stay sober long enough to write a story that will justify his continued employment. All of them are desperately trying to find, keep, and increase their place somewhere in the heap of humanity that is 1980s New York, the capital of the world. In their persons, the worlds of finance, politics, and the press collide, though in the end their defeats seem to possess more dignity than their victories.

In 2007, The New York Times published a retrospective on Wolfe's debut novel in which it crowed that "the New York of 'Bonfire,' to a degree that might well have shocked people in 1987, no longer exists." It is true, of course, that street crime in New York is far below the flood crest of the '70s and '80s, but street crime - as opposed to the fear of street crime - plays only an incidental part in The Bonfire of the Vanities, and the last decade has certainly witnessed a resurgence of social unrest and tribalism, complemented by an outrage culture endemic to social media and epidemic in the press, so that we seem more than ever to be living in Bonfire's jungle. For proof, one need only compare the treatment of Sherman McCoy by a fictional tabloid with the treatment of the Duke Lacrosse players by the actual New York Times. The same Qoheleth who informs us that "all is vanity" also reminds us that "there is nothing new under the sun."

r
RoyalJellyIII
Jan 10, 2018

Terrific read that really holds up well 30 years later.

DMAGLibrary62 Mar 07, 2014

Boring, could not get into it

v
vickiz
Dec 19, 2008

This is actually a great, rollicking read. I think the book's reputation has been overshadowed by the woefully miscast movie.

c
Cabby
Nov 11, 2007

One of my favourite books

c
crowpluto
Aug 04, 2006

This book has aged well. Themes still relevant today. Highly recommended.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...
No similar edition of this title was found at PACL.

Try searching for The Bonfire of the Vanities to see if PACL owns related versions of the work.


  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top