RIP Tom Wolfe

Bonfire of the Vanities was a great book. I should really give The Right Stuff a read at some point.

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He was great in Gladiators.

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really loved the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

I really liked the Bonfire of the Vanities when I read it too. do you think it might be considered a bit dubious in terms of race now? he was quite conservative wasn’t he?

Loved reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test on my first visit to The US as an adult. Hugely evocative of the time and place.

Bonfire Of The Vanities is great too. Read A Man In Full when it came out and thought that was pretty good, although I seem to recall lots of people thought it was disappointing.

Good writer :+1:

EDIT: a bit like @noise_ramones says up ^there…

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Yeah, he was conservative, supported George W. Bush and all. I think Vanities has dated a bit, though I don’t recall any of the race/class stuff in it being really bad or anything, maybe just cliche. He’s taking pot-shots at the white middle/upper-class really.

I read A Man in Full which was OK (some great bits but it’s way too long), though I heard his subsequent novels weren’t too good so I never read them.

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On a side note, the film of The Bonfire of the Vanities is probably the worst adaptation of a great book ever, with some of the worst miscasting you’ll ever see in a film (e.g. Tom Hanks has a smug yuppie, Bruce Willis as a British journalist which they had to change as he couldn’t do the accent). I know there’s meant to be a good book called The Devil’s Candy about what a mess the making of the film was.

The Right Stuff is good, took me a while to get into it but was pretty gripping after that. Read a lot of his journo stuff at uni and did a big essay project on the New Journalism which he was obviously critical to. Never read his fiction, but it feels like he was one of the few authors left who made themselves as much of a character as any of their literary creations.

Another vote for Davidoff Kool-Aid Acid Test. Great book.


a man in full (along with unbearable lightness of being & the power & the glory) was one of the first proper books i read when i was trying to get into adult literature aged 14 or something. never really got into tom wolfe, or any of those authors really, but it has a big place in my mind. i don;t even know if i enjoyed it cause it’s from before i had any critical faculties or whatever.

got quite into stoicism on the back of it.


I only ever really liked Electric Kool Aid of his but it’s such an incredible piece of work. Or at least 19 year old colossalhorse certainly thought so. I really ought to give it another read some day.


think I only ever read extracts of EKA and the Right Stuff, but I’ve read all of TBOTV and a Man in Full and enjoyed them both thoroughly at the time

bought a copy of the kandy-kolored tagerine-flake streamline baby because it was in the window of a charity shop earlier