Back to Blood
  • Back to Blood
  • Back to Blood

Back to Blood

3.2 57
by Tom Wolfe
     
 

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A big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now.

As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay-with officer Nestor Camacho on board-Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor, the black police chief, a wanna-go-muckraking young journalist

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Overview

A big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now.

As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay-with officer Nestor Camacho on board-Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor, the black police chief, a wanna-go-muckraking young journalist and his Yale-marinated editor; an Anglo sex-addiction psychiatrist and his Latina nurse by day, loin lock by night-until lately, the love of Nestor's life; a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti and her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin' little brother; a billionaire porn addict, crack dealers in the 'hoods, "de-skilled" conceptual artists at the Miami Art Basel Fair, "spectators" at the annual Biscayne Bay regatta looking only for that night's orgy, yenta-heavy ex-New Yorkers at an "Active Adult" condo, and a nest of shady Russians. Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous bestselling novels, BACK TO BLOOD is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
What holds our attention in Back to Blood…are Mr. Wolfe's two main characters: Nestor Camacho…and his former girlfriend Magdalena…Although Mr. Wolfe can be patronizing toward this pair, mocking them for their ignorance and naïveté, he also portrays them with genuine sympathy, using their earnest idealism as a prism by which to view the pretensions, social climbing and Machiavellian manipulation that burbles all around them. Nestor and Magdalena show that…Mr. Wolfe has been able to build upon the advances he made in creating flesh-and-blood people in A Man in Full (1998)—people who are not defined simply by their clothes, cars and verbal idiosyncrasies, but who actually possess something resembling an inner life.
—Michiko Kakutani
Publishers Weekly
Two hundred pages into Wolfe's frantic potboiler about Miami's melting pot, a description of City Hall reminds readers of the vivid detail that made Wolfe (The Bonfire of the Vanities) a literary icon. Yet despite flashes of "the right stuff", his latest novel comprises not an exposé of popular culture so much as a lurid compendium of clichés. The prologue features a scandal-fearing newspaper editor fretting as his wife tries to park her mini-hybrid at a trendy restaurant, but the action begins with marine patrolman Nestor Camacho speeding across Biscayne Bay. Unfortunately, his moment of glory dissolves into humiliation when he is condemned for arresting, after saving, a Cuban refugee. Resolute in pressing on, a bewildered Nestor works with reporter John Smith to unravel fraud at the city's new art museum and uncover the truth behind an incident of school violence. In the process, he meets elegant Haitian beauty Ghislaine, whose professor father desperately hopes she'll "pass" for white. African Americans, Russian émigrés, and Jewish retirees also appear: ethnic groups separated by language, tribe, and class; linked together by sex, money, and real estate. Filling his prose with sound effects, foreign phrases, accented English, and slang, Wolfe creates his own Miami sound machine—noisy, chaotic, infused with tropical rhythms, and fueled by the American dream. The result is a book louder than it is deep; more sensational than it is thought provoking; less like Wolfe at his best, more like tabloid headlines recast as fiction. (Oct. 23)
Donna Seaman
Within a masterfully strategized plot, Wolfe works his sardonic mojo to mock both prejudice and decadence and demolish the art world, reality TV, tawdry fame, and journalism in the digital age....This is a shrewd, riling, and exciting tale of a volatile, diverse, sun-seared city where 'everybody hates everybody.'
Booklist (Starred Review)
Michael Dirda
Brilliant...I couldn't stop reading it....Tom Wolfe can make words dance and sing and perform circus tricks, he can make the reader sigh with pleasure.
Washington Post
Lev Grossman
I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004):

"Wolfe is one of the greatest literary stylists and social observers of our much observed postmodern era....A rich, wise, absorbing, and irresistible novel.
Time

Lev Grossman - Time Magazine
I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004):

"Wolfe is one of the greatest literary stylists and social observers of our much observed postmodern era....A rich, wise, absorbing, and irresistible novel.

Michael Dirda - Washington Post
"Brilliant...I couldn't stop reading it....Tom Wolfe can make words dance and sing and perform circus tricks, he can make the reader sigh with pleasure."
New York Times Book Review
A Man in Full (1998):

"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."

Washington Post Book World
"A superb human comedy and the first novel ever to get contemporary New York, in all its arrogance and shame and heterogeneity and insularity, exactly right."
Los Angeles Times
"Wolfe's dialogue is some of the finest in literature, not just fast but deep. He hears the cacophony of our modern lives."
Michiko Kakutani - New York Times
"Gripping....[Wolfe] limns a dog-eat-dog world in which people behave like animals, scratching and clawing their way up the greasy social pole."
Sarah Fenske - LA Weekly
"A breezy, funny read...and an examination of just what it means to be a man."
Kyle Smith - People
"The novel roars and zips along like a cigarette boat, and even at 81 the Man in White proves to be a marvelous reporter. Call this bawdy humdinger the Bonfire of the Miamians."
Adam Langer - San Francisco Chronicle
"Wolfe is writing with as much brio as he brought to his debut novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, 25 years ago. Back to Blood demonstrates the author's persistent vitality."
Ken Armstrong - Seattle Times
"A rollicking good story. Akin to The Bonfire of the Vanities, the book has memorable characters and big themes."
Dale Singer - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A typically overstuffed, overstated, delectably over-the-top portrait of modern Miami."
John Timpane - Philadelphia Enquirer
"With the sweep, particularity, and deliciously flamboyant language that have become Wolfe trademarks, Back to Blood tackles Miami and environs. Wolfeian description is seldom just pretty writing--almost always, the physical environment tells the person, tells the society."
Husna Huq - Christian Science Monitor
"Preposterous, overwrought, contrived, wildly ambitious, and outrageously entertaining. It is, in other words, classic Wolfian fare."
Michael Moynihan - The Daily Beast
"Back to Blood is a bracing vision of America's shifting demography and the immutability of ethnic conflict and class aspirations....Wolfe demonstrates that his skills as a novelist and a chronicler of America's class anxieties are undiminished."
Bob Hoover - Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"Another big, sprawling, engrossing, hilarious, character-packed and action-driven novel by the master chronicler of modern America."
Lev Grossman - Time
I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004):

"Wolfe is one of the greatest literary stylists and social observers of our much observed postmodern era....A rich, wise, absorbing, and irresistible novel."

William McKeen - Boston Sunday Globe
"Immensely entertaining and insightful. Nobody does hedonism and excess like Miami, and Wolfe has managed to wrangle all of his observations into an expansive book that despite its huge cast avoids becoming unruly."
James Wolcott - Vanity Fair
"The premier 19th-century novelist of the 21st century, the thin white duke of American neon prose, Tom Wolfe may be the last of the literary showmen in the era of mopers and trauma specialists. Wolfe shows no signs of slackening energy or ambition in his latest novel, Back to Blood."
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
"The novel's pointed observations are dangerously close to reality: Wolfe, Master of the New Journalism Universe, has done his homework and done it well. There is nothing in the novel that couldn't happen tomorrow right outside your window."
Donna Seaman - Booklist (starred review)
"Wolfe, the impish, white-suited satirist, eviscerates a city-in-flux as he did with New York in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) and Atlanta in A Man in Full (1988). This is a shrewd, riling, and exciting tale of a volatile, diverse, sun-seared city where 'everybody hates everybody.'"
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR TOM WOLFE:

Bonfire of the Vanities (1987):"

A big, bitter, funny, craftily plotted book that grabs you by the lapels and won't let go."—New York Times Book Review"

A superb human comedy and the first novel ever to get contemporary New York, in all its arrogance and shame and heterogeneity and insularity, exactly right."—Washington Post Book World

A Man in Full (1998):"

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."—New York Times Book Review

I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004):"

Wolfe is one of the greatest literary stylists and social observers of our much observed postmodern era....A rich, wise, absorbing, and irresistible novel."—Lev Grossman, Time"

Wolfe's dialogue is some of the finest in literature, not just fast but deep. He hears the cacophony of our modern lives."—Los Angeles Times"

Brilliant...I couldn't stop reading it....Tom Wolfe can make words dance and sing and perform circus tricks, he can make the reader sigh with pleasure."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780594503989
Publisher:
Little, Brown & Company
Publication date:
10/23/2012
Pages:
720
Sales rank:
181,459
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

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