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Extended Audio Sample Back to Blood: A Novel Audiobook, by Tom Wolfe Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,723 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom Wolfe Narrator: Lou Diamond Phillips Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9781619691735
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A big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now.

As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay-with officer Nestor Camacho on board-Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor, the black police chief, a wanna-go-muckraking young journalist and his Yale-marinated editor; an Anglo sex-addiction psychiatrist and his Latina nurse by day, loin lock by night-until lately, the love of Nestor's life; a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti and her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin' little brother; a billionaire porn addict, crack dealers in the 'hoods, "de-skilled" conceptual artists at the Miami Art Basel Fair, "spectators" at the annual Biscayne Bay regatta looking only for that night's orgy, yenta-heavy ex-New Yorkers at an "Active Adult" condo, and a nest of shady Russians. Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous bestselling novels, BACK TO BLOOD is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A soapy, gripping, and sometimes glib novel.”

    New York Times

  • “Wolfe remains as skillful as ever in texturing the novel’s terrain, from the ‘prairie of concrete’ formed by Hialeah’s front yards to a tired retirement complex up in Broward County where ‘the little iron balconettes and the aluminum frames for the sliding doors looked as if they were about to fall off and die in a pile.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This is a shrewd, riling, and exciting tale of a volatile, divisive, sun-seared city where ‘everybody hates everybody.’” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Wolfe returns to fine form with this zingy, mile-a-minute novel of life in the weird confines of Miami…a welcome pleasure from an old master and the best from his pen in a long while.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Actor Lou Diamond Phillips portrays Nestor Comacho, a man with both pride in his heritage and a thirst to be fully assimilated into America’s ever-changing culture. Ultimately, he performs a death-defying act that is perceived as heroic in the white community and as a betrayal in the Latin community. Phillips relishes the dramatic pauses and changes pace to match Nestor’s inner struggle and frustrations.”


  • “Wolfe creates his own Miami sound machine—noisy, chaotic, infused with tropical rhythms, and fueled by the American dream.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Wolfe, Master of the New Journalism Universe, has done his homework and done it well.”

    Miami Herald

  • “[Wolfe] has not lost his gift for panoramic presentation; Back to Blood surges with its large ensemble cast of Floridians and immigrants with mixed histories and conflicting agendas. This sun-bronzed band of sailors, crack dealers, art enthusiasts, porn addicts, insomniacs, and love-struck romantics keep the fiction bristling with meaning even as the action moves forward.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “Actor Lou Diamond Phillips does full justice to Wolfe’s sprawling, multicharacter novel of present day Miami, with its amazing mixture of ethnicities and cultures. He can handle Cubans, African Americans, Russians, Haitians, and even elderly retired New Yorkers with ease and authority.” 


  • Back to Blood is a return to form, a work that solidifies Wolfe’s stature as one of the best. Using his incisive journalistic skills, his flair for the cinematic moment, and his laugh-out-loud sense of humor, Wolfe takes the disparate types in and around Miami to create a tapestry of memorable scenes and characters. The result is entertaining, revealing, and perhaps even bigger than the sum of its parts. This is a book that will do for Miami what Wolfe’s mega-hit The Bonfire of the Vanities did for New York.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2012
  • An Amazon Top 10 Book, October 2012
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, October 2012
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • SoundCommentary.com’s The Best of the Best, 2013

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mrparlay | 2/12/2014

    " better than the reviews..parts were really good...some were ponderous "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ivan Andresen | 2/10/2014

    " Not really as satirical, spicy or even politically incorrect as I would've hoped. Well enough written and at times intriguing, but never really captivating and not that funny either. For some people it might well be juicy stuff to portray differences in class, race, and social status, but for me to find it exciting it would have to offer more of a parody, more edge, more basic humor, or just simply a better plot to swallow it down with - Back to Blood just didn't give me any of that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Idfaciamus | 2/4/2014

    " Wolfe is always good at exploring all the social friction points, often ethnic and racial, in our diverse society. He is also good at giving a good send up to the pomposities and scams in our society. His most recent locale is Miami with it's Cuban-American dominance in local politics, but which must deal with the greater Anglo culture. Russians, Haitians, and many others have a presence as well. He did much the same with Atlanta and the interplay of black political dominance and white economic dominance. These tensions provide the backdrop for the main story, in this case, a young Cugan-American cop - and his loves - and a young preppie newspaper reporter. My only complaint is that the story was wrapped up a little too quickly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will Manuel | 1/27/2014

    " Better than "Man in Full," but not as great as Electric Kool Aid Acid Test or Bonfire. Still felt like he just ended it without much thought. But the character studies were great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate Fox | 1/19/2014

    " Tom Wolfe is losing his edge - this is full of almost X rated stuff with no apparent purpose of including it, unless it's really like that in Miami, where the book is set. I still read it right through, but I am a big Tom Wolfe fan, and it was engaging. I just did not like it that much. It's no Bonfire of the Vanities..... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James Loffredo | 1/18/2014

    " Yuck. Boring. Wolfe mailed this one in "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 1/16/2014

    " Love Tom Wolfe. Not as good as Bonfire of the Vanities, but it made me smile nonetheless. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Martha | 1/15/2014

    " I was disappointed in this latest novel of Tom Wolfe. I thought the plot would be more interesting from the characters introduced in the first chapters. I liked the setting in Miami but he dropped several of the subplots and the dialogue was rather weak. Skip this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Myron Lezak | 1/9/2014

    " Had potential for a good story about the dynamics of polyglot Miami. Too bombastic. Author seemed more enamored of onomatopoeia than telling a good story. Too bad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monwar Hussain | 1/4/2014

    " You know why I like this book? It's almost like living in Miami and feeling the city... feeling lives you will never live and have... Thomas Wolfe makes my lonetime Miamisome... :)... and that's a great thing in an author... this immersion :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chip | 1/3/2014

    " Fun view of Miami. As with all Tom Wolfe books is makes me want to live somewhere else. Hope he never writes about Boston. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Craig | 12/1/2013

    " Either I've outgrown Tom Wolfe or his brand of cultural critique died in the 80s. Or both. This felt like a Bonfire redux told through the pedantic lens of an old, privileged (racist, misogynist) white man. I wonder if a re-reading of Bonfire would feel the same? In any case, not worth the read... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthiajsnyder | 11/27/2013

    " Man in Full much better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Peg | 9/16/2013

    " Very long, 700 pages, complicated and somewhat hard to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela Larson | 6/16/2013

    " Not as good as some of Wolfe's earlier novels but still worth reading because he nails his description and actions of characters so well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bryan Cassiday | 4/30/2013

    " Overloaded with detail and underloaded with plot, the story lags and comes off more like sociopolitical erotica than anything else. I preferred Wolfe's classic "Bonfire of the Vanities." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary Ghislain | 4/9/2013

    " Really enjoyed it. The writing was lively, original and flowing, and I fell for it. The voice, or the set of voices, were more important than the storyline - and I liked that too. Read it! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Erin | 3/4/2013

    " Just hated the writing. The conversations between the characters are terrible. He's trying too hard to sound young and hip which just makes the book irritating to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/31/2012

    " Made it through 400 pages before tiring of his attempts to put certain sounds/vocalizations into words and to insert the character's thoughts into virtually every sentence, often in the middle of a sentence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hans | 12/8/2012

    " Who has a more unique and consistent writing style than Tom Wolfe. Always count on him to MOCK! MOCK! SLAM, HUMILIATE the HOT,HOT, HOT trends of the day. "

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About the Author
Author Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, Virginia-born journalist and author of more than a dozen books, has been called “the inventor of the New Journalism—and possessor of the age’s most distinctive prose style.” Among his best-known books are such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and The Bonfire of the Vanities. He lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Lou Diamond Phillips is an accomplished actor with numerous film, television, and theater credits. Among his films are La Bamba, Young Guns, and Young Guns II.