Tom Wolfe Tries New Role: Novelist

Mervyn Rothstein, New York Times, October 13, 1987.

“It’s outrageous the way people conduct their lives in New York,” Tom Wolfe said. ”And yet I don’t want to live anywhere else. I don’t despair, because I find the comedy so rich. At the same time that people do vile things, they also create hilariously funny spectacles. The city dominates you if you’re a player, but it never fails you if you’re a viewer. It’s always entertaining, and it’s always funny, even in its grimmest moments.”

Mr. Wolfe has been observing this city for a quarter century, and now he has written a book about it – a novel. Yes, Tom Wolfe, whose sharp wit and distinctive first-person reportage made him the prototypical New Journalist, the author of ”Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers” (wherein he looked at Black Panthers and New York liberals and added a new phrase to our vocabulary) and ”The Right Stuff” (wherein he laid bare the lives of America’s first astronauts) has, at age 57, written a novel. It is called ”The Bonfire of the Vanities,” it is 659 pages long, and it is now in the bookstores…

New York Times