- Paperback: 704 pages
- Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback; Reprint edition (Oct. 30 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553381334
- ISBN-13: 978-0553381337
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3 x 20.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 544 g
- Average Customer Review: 519 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Man in Full Paperback – Oct 30 2001
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#1 New York Times bestseller
“A masterpiece.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Superior . . . utterly engrossing.”—USA Today
“The novel contains passages as powerful and as beautiful as anything written — not merely by contemporary American novelists but by any American novelist. . . . The book is as funny as anything Wolfe has ever written; at the same time it is also deeply, strangely affecting.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Wolfe is a peerless observer, a fearless satirist, a genius in full.”—People
Also by Tom Wolfe:
The Bonfire of the Vanities
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
From Bauhaus to Our House
The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby
The Painted Word
The Right Stuff
Mauve Gloves & Madmen
Clutter & Vine
In Our Time
The Pumphouse Gang
Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers
Available wherever Bantam Books are sold
From the Inside Flap
is Atlanta, Georgia a racially mixed, late-century boomtown full of fresh wealth and wily politicians. The protagonist is Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a late-middle-aged Atlanta conglomerate king whose outsize ego has at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 29,000 acre quail-shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife, and a half-empty office complex with a staggering load of debt.
Meanwhile, Conrad Hensley, idealistic young father of two, is laid off from his job at the Croker Global Foods warehouse near Oakland and finds himself spiraling into the lower depths of the American legal system.
And back in Atlanta, when star Georgia Tech running back Fareek the Canon Fanon, a homegrown product of the citys slums, is accused of date-raping the daughter of a pillar of the white establishment, upscale black lawyer Roger White II is asked to represent Fanon and help keep the citys delicate racial balance from
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Meanwhile Georgia star running back Fanon Fareek is accused of date raping the daughter of one of Charlie's society cronies, a pillar of the white establishment. Upscale black lawyer Roger White is asked to represent Fanon and doing so offers Charlie a deal that would get the bank off his back, it would mean speaking in favour of Fareek at a press conference.
With the press conference looming Charlie must decide whether to go along with White's plan by praising Fareek and save his empire or risk losing everything and possibly causing a riot in Atlanta.
The author narrates in this novel a myriad of details and social observations. Wolfe exposes pretension, hypocrisy, malice, greed and vices on top of the dynamism of contemporary life. This novel is a work of satire, utterly dark and brutal with moments of humour and complex emotions. I was immediately grabbed by the fabulous characters Wolfe introduced and the plot revolving around them, I could hardly put the book down.
A MAN IN FULL is a noteworthy work by Tom Wolfe that examines the core of true manliness in the modern world. While there's no swashbuckling, open-shirted flexing of pectorals, just watch as two men are pressed far beyond the breaking point of most - one maintains his honor at the ultimate cost, the other struggles mightily with folding his hand. Both rise from the ashes of their former lives in extraordinary form.
Wolfe has a keen ability to delicately describe the intricacies of interpersonal interactions with delightful detail. Though the audiobook is abridged, it maintains the integrity of Wolfe's wonderful descriptions. The beauty of Wolfe's work is in the subtle, smart observations of human thought, action, and reaction. For example, one of the main characters loves to flex his large lattissimus dorsi (back) muscles as it insinuates his physical dominance not only to his companions, but to himself. Admit it - you know someone like that, and recognizing it will make you smile.
Though cleverly written and plotted, A MAN IN FULL is not for the faint of heart. There is some grizzly, real-world subject matter that may make the reader cringe. There is an artfully crafted scene that far surpasses the end-of-your-rope tension presented by the feature films "Falling Down" and "Changing Lanes", where the reader will feel the vice of life's little injustices add up to an unbearable Herculean burden. There is a particularly gut-wrenching scene that culminates in a hideous violation in a prison shower stall. Though we'd like to assume these things don't happen, Tom Wolfe reports it with a sad urgency that requires the reader's attention.
I would recommend listening to A MAN IN FULL in its audiobook format as read by David Ogden Stiers. I don't believe that I've ever heard an audiobook reader so perfectly matched for a particular novel. Stiers expertly evokes a wide range of American dialects from upper-class white Atlanta, to upper-class black Atlanta, to lower-class Oakland, to white-supremacist prisoner, to Latino, to butcher, baker, and candlestick-maker. The entire performance is pitch-perfect, adding an additional level of emotional involvement in the story. Stiers (of M*A*S*H fame) shines brightest when performing the behind-closed-doors scenes of Atlanta's political and business meetings. He brings the precise amount of vocal snobbery, conceits, and vulnerability that we came to love/hate in his M*A*S*H character, Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III.
A MAN IN FULL comes highly recommended for those seeking an excellently crafted novel, with rich descriptions of each character. An additional recommendation comes for the audiobook. David Ogden Stiers provides the ideal avenue on which to (re)experience this well-told tale.
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Tom Wolfe, author of prior books on banking and astronauts takes us into Atlanta to explore what gets to the root of being a man.Read more