Issue: April 2013

Book Review - Back To Blood by Tom Wolfe

  • Back To Blood Tom Wolfe

American literature’s famed man in the white suit is back with a big novel that takes on big themes (race, wealth, ambition, crime, sex and corruption in Miami.)

Yes, even at 81, it looks like there’s no stopping Tom Wolfe! Having begun his career as a journalist, Wolfe became known for spawning the New Journalism movement—a form of writing that experimented with literary techniques, on-scene reporting and crazy punctuation in an effort to bring alive the situation. Not surprising then that the prologue is entitled: We een Mee-AH-mee Now. Typical Tom Wolfe, creating sentences that one has to read aloud to get its full impact.

And like always, one can expect nothing less than a crazy cast of characters. A Hispanic mayor, a black police chief, an ambitious journalist with a wimpish editor, a psychiatrist who specialises in sex addiction with a nurse who doubles up as his mistress, crack dealers, a billionaire porn addict and several other colourful characters. Summed up, the plotline is a mad clash of Miami’s financial, sexual and ethnic disparities.

Reportedly paid close to $7million for the novel, the man who invented terms like ‘radical chic’ and ‘social X-ray’ (for emaciated socialites) is back to prove that he still has what he called ‘the right stuff’.

Publisher: Jonathan Cape; Genre: Literary fiction;

Price: R799

Text: Farhad J Dadyburjor

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