“Back to Blood” Here at Last

Back in August I posted on the coming release of Tom Wolfe’s new novel, Back to Blood.  In so doing I learned Mr. Wolfe has many fans among the Ricochetti, including Founding Father Peter Robinson. Well, today is the day, and the book has arrived to mixed reviews. As one might have expected, given that Wolfe rejects the “charming aristocracy,” among whose number you’ll find most book reviewers, the notices were less than enthusiastic at the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. But the Miami Herald, the newspaper of the city where the novel is set, was more impressed.

I pre-ordered the book from Amazon (where, as I write this, it’s at number 28 among all books), and I eagerly await its arrival. I expect to enjoy it every bit as much as I have his earlier works, and I hope he sells a zillion copies. The hell with the charming aristocracy. 

  1. Anne R. Pierce

    Thanks for the heads up. No current author captures times and places in our country like Tom Wolfe. Off to Amazon!

  2. Colin B Lane

    Just purchased in iBooks. Thanks for the reminder. 

  3. tabula rasa

    You can also download it on Audible.  Lou Diamond Phillips is the reader/narrator.  Can’t wait.  

    This is one case where reading the words while listening is the best experience.

  4. Goldgeller

    I must say that I haven’t read Tom Wolfe, and the only thing I know about him was the Uncommon Knowledge interview with him. What book of his should I read? I’ve wanted to read something by him, but I don’t know which one to read. 

  5. flownover

    To heck with the NYT and the LAT and the rest of those liberal saps.

    Wolfe is great. I liked Charlotte Simmons. I thought Bonfire was like looking into the future, and it did. Right Stuff was as good as the astronauts were brave. 

    Wolfe is the coolest and he does wear white everywhere. I saw him in his suit in the woods once. 

    Oh , I forgot – to heck with the New Yawhker tambien.

    Those three rags will never forgive his honesty. 

    There is a great article about him in vulture.com today.

    h/t aldaily and New York magazine

  6. tabula rasa

    I just picked up my copy of American Spectator, which has Tom Wolfe on the cover (a drawing of him anyway).

    Here are a couple excerpts from James Coyne’s review:

    “In Back to Blood [Wolfe] continues to bring it off.  It may be that he succeeds because he understands, as our reigning literary commissars do not, that although the terms of social engagement have shifted dramatically, basic decency and standards of behavior have not.  This basic insight, simple yet profound, is what a great number of readers–one suspects a majority–are hungry for in our literature.”

    You can count among that group of readers.

    The final paragraph:

    “In these central characters, Tom Wolfe again gives us men in full, who in age of extraordinary uncertainty, embody the old verities–or perhaps, more accurately, the right stuff.  And no matter how our society changes, that remains the same.”

    Can’t wait to start it tomorrow (Amazon willing).

  7. tabula rasa
    Colin B Lane

    Goldgeller: I must say that I haven’t read Tom Wolfe, and the only thing I know about him was the Uncommon Knowledge interview with him. What book of his should I read? I’ve wanted to read something by him, but I don’t know which one to read.  · 58 minutes ago

    Where to start? Bonfire of the Vanities; Man in Full; Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers; The Right Stuff, to name a few. All just excellent reads. · 2 hours ago

    Two of my favorites are The Painted Word, a hilarious deconstruction of the nuttiness of post-war modern art in NYC  and From Bauhaus to Our House, an equally hilarious deconstruction of the horrible architecture we were plagued with in the 20th century.

  8. Anne R. Pierce
    Goldgeller: I must say that I haven’t read Tom Wolfe, and the only thing I know about him was the Uncommon Knowledge interview with him. What book of his should I read? I’ve wanted to read something by him, but I don’t know which one to read.  · 5 hours ago

    I’d recommend starting with with The Right Stuff .. then on to Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full,  Charlotte Simmons

  9. Basil Fawlty

    I’ve just finished reading Hooking Up, which contains the novella Ambush at Fort Bragg, a wonderful dissection of shows such as 60 Minutes.   Also included is the destruction of The New Yorker.

  10. Indaba
    Anne R. Pierce

    Goldgeller: I must say that I haven’t read Tom Wolfe, and the only thing I know about him was the Uncommon Knowledge interview with him. What book of his should I read? I’ve wanted to read something by him, but I don’t know which one to read.  · 5 hours ago

    I’d recommend starting with with The Right Stuff .. then on to Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full,  Charlotte Simmons · 36 minutes ago

    That is a good recommendation and be prepared for descriptive, loooong sentences. 

  11. Goldgeller
    Colin B Lane

    Goldgeller: I must say that I haven’t read Tom Wolfe, and the only thing I know about him was the Uncommon Knowledge interview with him. What book of his should I read? I’ve wanted to read something by him, but I don’t know which one to read.  · 58 minutes ago

    Where to start? Bonfire of the Vanities; Man in Full; Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers; The Right Stuff, to name a few. All just excellent reads. · 3 hours ago

    Thank you everyone for the recommendations. I’ll have to check something out sooner rather than later. My reading list has just gotten so long! That’s a good thing! But how do I catch up?!

  12. Colin B Lane
    Goldgeller: I must say that I haven’t read Tom Wolfe, and the only thing I know about him was the Uncommon Knowledge interview with him. What book of his should I read? I’ve wanted to read something by him, but I don’t know which one to read.  · 58 minutes ago

    Where to start? Bonfire of the Vanities; Man in Full; Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers; The Right Stuff, to name a few. All just excellent reads.

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