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New York, New York, United States
"Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Bonfire of the Vanities

New York in the 80's really isn't much different from New York today. Is that a depressing thought? I think so...This novel follows a year in the life of a Wall street bond trader whose life is shattered following a particularly stupid and tragic accident. Sherman McCoy had it all and he knew it. The Park Avenue "palace," the million dollar job, the luscious mistress. After an incident in the Bronx, Sherman's life is unraveled to the world, including a status-hungry DA and the cynical cops who hound the case.

I absolutely loved this book. Wolfe is unstinting in his painfully honest portrayal of New York scoiety. Whether you're a Wall street bond trader or a Bronx beat cop, you have the satisfaction of your own righteousness. I am utterly fascinated by the sheer ARROGANCE of these people. The belief that they cannot be touched simply because they have money or pride. What this book reveals is that no one is infallible. If you believe that you are, you're living a deluded life and I believe that many people in New York do so. This city engenders that "superman complex" of you-can't-touch-me presumption. It's both understandable and sickening at the same time. This novel takes place in the early 80s, yet I felt that any of the events could have happened today. In fact, what happens to Sherman McCoy is eerily similar to the Bernie Madoff story of today. Read this novel if you want a relevant and truthful presentation of New York

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