Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Author Tom Wolfe has died. He was 88. Known for his classy white suits and satirical perspective, Wolfe's background as a journalist aided him in writing both fiction and nonfiction. One of his most famous nonfiction works is The Right Stuff, which was made into a hit movie (with the same title) in the early 1980s. I read Wolfe's 1987 The Bonfire of the Vanities when I was in college and was blown away: the novel ripped into everybody like a rampaging tiger. I next read Wolfe's 1998 A Man in Full, which didn't blow me away, but which was still a readable, albeit thoroughly implausible, satire.

Wolfe leaned rightward in his thinking, but his books tended to be fairly even-handed in their takedowns of society's sacred cows, and his death is a loss to the literary world. I, for one, will miss his often-wacky turns of phrase and his ear for accents and dialogue, which he deftly rendered on the page.

RIP, Mr. Wolfe.

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