Discussion:
Novelist Tom Wolfe dead at 87
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d***@gmail.com
2018-05-15 15:57:57 UTC
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https://pagesix.com/2018/05/15/novelist-tom-wolfe-dead-at-87/?utm_source=maropost&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news_alert&utm_content=20180515&mpweb=755-6901567-719745364
Michael OConnor
2018-05-15 16:31:08 UTC
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Wolfe will surely be best remembered for "The Right Stuff", which was an outstanding book about the early years of the US space program. The movie was great also but even with a three-hour running length they left so much out and three of the Mercury astronauts - Carpenter, Schirra and Slayton - got little attention.

I did read "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" when I was in college, and I remember liking it. I might have to dig up a copy on the Ebay and re-read it.
J.D. Baldwin
2018-05-15 22:32:44 UTC
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Post by Michael OConnor
Wolfe will surely be best remembered for "The Right Stuff", which was
an outstanding book about the early years of the US space program.
I had a foot in the test-pilot culture he described, and I knew a few
of the guys who lived it in that way and at that time. He really did
get it right. The description of the funerals was particularly
haunting.

I recently moved house and let go of a LOT of old crap. One of the
things I discarded was my naval officer's overcoat. Wolfe mentioned
this overcoat specifically in his description of the Navy pilots
attending a funeral in dress blues: "Few American men would ever own
anything as aristocratic as that overcoat." I thought of that phrase
every time I saw it hanging in the corner of my basement for the last
20 years.

I thought his novels were less praiseworthy. He really captured a
cultural moment in "Bonfire of the Vanities" -- and he should win some
kind of big literary award for that title alone -- but ultimately
that's all it was: a moment. The characterizations and dialogue are
hilarious, but the novel as a whole has not stood the test of time the
way "The Right Stuff" and some of his other journalistic stuff has.

In fact, I thought "A Man in Full" was badly underrated. It's an
engaging story, its twists are not foreseeable, and it has an
interesting "message."

I will have the good taste not to mention "I Am Charlotte Simmons."
(Oops.)

Going back to the journalism stuff, I would advise anyone who wishes
to be literate in the subject of modern art and architecture -- where
by "modern" I mean second-half-of-the-20th-century -- to acquire and
read "From Bauhaus to Our House." And I also remember very much
enjoying some of the stuff in "Hooking Up," particularly the essay
where he leaves a smoking crater where New Yorker editor William Shawn
had been standing a moment before.

Anyway, RIP.
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Anglo.Saxon
2018-05-16 01:46:21 UTC
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Post by J.D. Baldwin
Post by Michael OConnor
Wolfe will surely be best remembered for "The Right Stuff", which was
an outstanding book about the early years of the US space program.
I had a foot in the test-pilot culture he described, and I knew a few
of the guys who lived it in that way and at that time. He really did
get it right. The description of the funerals was particularly
haunting.
I recently moved house and let go of a LOT of old crap. One of the
things I discarded was my naval officer's overcoat. Wolfe mentioned
this overcoat specifically in his description of the Navy pilots
attending a funeral in dress blues: "Few American men would ever own
anything as aristocratic as that overcoat." I thought of that phrase
every time I saw it hanging in the corner of my basement for the last
20 years.
I thought his novels were less praiseworthy. He really captured a
cultural moment in "Bonfire of the Vanities" -- and he should win some
kind of big literary award for that title alone -- but ultimately
that's all it was: a moment. The characterizations and dialogue are
hilarious, but the novel as a whole has not stood the test of time the
way "The Right Stuff" and some of his other journalistic stuff has.
In fact, I thought "A Man in Full" was badly underrated. It's an
engaging story, its twists are not foreseeable, and it has an
interesting "message."
I will have the good taste not to mention "I Am Charlotte Simmons."
(Oops.)
Going back to the journalism stuff, I would advise anyone who wishes
to be literate in the subject of modern art and architecture -- where
by "modern" I mean second-half-of-the-20th-century -- to acquire and
read "From Bauhaus to Our House." And I also remember very much
enjoying some of the stuff in "Hooking Up," particularly the essay
where he leaves a smoking crater where New Yorker editor William Shawn
had been standing a moment before.
Anyway, RIP.
Good summary. "A Man in Full"; christ. I barely got up from the chair for
two days.
danny burstein
2018-05-16 02:18:18 UTC
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Post by Anglo.Saxon
Post by J.D. Baldwin
In fact, I thought "A Man in Full" was badly underrated. It's an
engaging story, its twists are not foreseeable, and it has an
interesting "message."
Good summary. "A Man in Full"; christ. I barely got up from the chair for
two days.
Guess it's one of those "some folk like" things.

I was listening to it on audio cassette in my car,
andgave up after 15 minutes.
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Anglo.Saxon
2018-05-16 20:25:02 UTC
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Post by danny burstein
Post by danny burstein
I was listening to it on audio cassette in my car,
andgave up after 15 minutes.
I'm afraid we who read are having you arrested and sentenced to a prison in
Somalia. R.I.P. John Updike.
gj
2018-05-22 14:40:49 UTC
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On Tue, 15 May 2018 22:32:44 +0000 (UTC),
Post by J.D. Baldwin
In fact, I thought "A Man in Full" was badly underrated. It's an
engaging story, its twists are not foreseeable, and it has an
interesting "message."
This is the only book of his I've read. I'd recommend it.

-GJ 3.0

l***@yahoo.com
2018-05-16 15:21:38 UTC
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Post by Michael OConnor
I did read "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" when I was in college, and I remember liking it. I might have to dig up a copy on the Ebay and re-read it.
Maybe I should read it someday.

Silly note: I used to confuse the title with the 1973 juvenile book: "The Active-Enzyme Lemon-Freshened Junior High School Witch" by E.W. Hildick. No, it's not a fantasy. (What's a bit odd is that the male author was British, but the story takes place in the US - I think.) One reviewer at Goodreads pointed out that there's a touch of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" in it. Another said "Since this was written in the 70s, don't expect Harry Potter, but think Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing."


Lenona.
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