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About the book
  • Published: 1 March 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099541271
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 752
  • RRP: $14.99

The Bonfire of the Vanities

As influential as Martin Amis’s MONEY and Oliver Stone’s film WALL STREET, this is an exhilarating satire of Eighties excess and a book that captures the roiling spirit of New York

Sherman McCoy is a WASP, bond trader and self-appointed ‘Master of the Universe’. He has a fashionable wife, a Park Avenue apartment and a Southern mistress. His spectacular fall begins the moment he is involved in a hit-and-run accident in the Bronx. Prosecutors, newspaper hacks, politicians and clergy close in on him, determined to bring him down.

The Bonfire of the Vanities is a caustic satire on the money-feverish Eighties. This exuberant novel cemented Wolfe’s reputation as the foremost chronicler of his age.

  • Pub date: 1 March 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099541271
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 752
  • RRP: $14.99

About the Author

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe (1930-2018) was the author of more than a dozen books, among them The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full, I Am Charlotte Simmons and Back to Blood. He received the National Book Foundation's 2010 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

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Praise for The Bonfire of the Vanities

“Wolfe's modern morality tale displays the sardonic humour and sharp appreciation of the grotesque familiar to admirers of his non fiction... Savagely funny and compelling”


“The air of New York crackles with an energy that causes the adrenalin to pump, until one has the illusion that this is where the whole of life is taking place. The feeling is perfectly reproduced in Wolfe's novel, which opens such cans of worms as racial hostility, dress codes, political labelling and the cynical opportunism that governs every action. It's, well, electric”

Sunday Times

“It's witty, sprawling and ambitious”

Daily Telegraph

“Impossible to put down”

Wall Street Journal

“Delicious fun”

New York Times

“Moves with a swift comic logic . . . An innovative and imaginative and intricate plot . . .welds Wolfe's descriptions of dinner parties, restaurant games, Wall Street trading, and courthouse chaos into more than a tour de force”


“Acerbically funny”

Christina Koning, The Times

“Still very funny and smartly written a good 20 years after it was first published”

Colin Waters, Sunday Herald

“Dense with research and bulging with bombast. Yet, it has to be admitted, it's also great fun”

Hermione Hoby, Observer

“I read this novel at the end of the 1980s when greed and excess were rife, and the merger barons were making loads of money. As someone working in the City, I loved how it perfectly captured the voraciously materialistic mood. Wolfe portrays his characters with wit and accuracy.”

Madeleine Gore, Easy Living

“If there is a set-book of the Eighties, it is Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities. No other novel has achieved such a precise place in the imagination of the reading classes. With his first attempt at fiction Wolfe has become the 'Dickens or Balzac of his age'; the dandy journalist has become the towering genius”

The Times

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