Completed: 28 June 2015
Summary & Review:
Charlie Crocker is seeing the destruction of his real estate development empire. His grand vision of a great outer-Atlanta development put him too far in the hole to the bank and now the bank has come knocking to recoup its money. Conrad Henley, a young man with a small family, has just been imprisoned unjustly after being fired from his miserable frozen foods warehouse job. Roger “Too White” White, a black Atlanta lawyer, is proud of his station in life but often feels isolated from the black community. These men, and more, get swept up into the controversy when a star black athlete at Georgia Tech is accused of raping the daughter of a prominent white family. As tensions swell across the city, these men will all be defined by their actions in the coming storm.
This was the second novel of Tom Wolfe’s that I’ve read. I first read The Bonfire of the Vanities (#274), which is a modern classic and I loved it. This book started out just as strong, but as Steve Sailer noted, the ending sputters. I hear Wolfe was in poor health and couldn’t do the ending justice. While the wrap-up was rushed and slightly unsatisfying, reading to that point was very enjoyable so I will still look back on reading this book fondly. Wolfe is a keen observe of American culture and humanity at large and his books are always worth the time.