Extended Audio Sample

Download The Bonfire of the Vanities Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Bonfire of the Vanities 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 (28,965 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom Wolfe Narrator: Joe Barrett Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781455194551
Regular Price: $34.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $16.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

This bitingly hilarious American satire will forever define late-twentieth-century New York style.

Tom Wolfe’s bestselling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress, until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward in a humiliating fall from grace.

A car accident in the Bronx involving Sherman, his girlfriend, and two young lower-class black men sets a match to the incendiary racial and social tensions of 1980s New York City. Suddenly, Sherman finds himself embroiled in the most brutal, high-profile case of the year, as prosecutors, politicians, the press, the police, the clergy, and assorted hustlers rush in to further their own political and social agendas. With so many egos at stake, the last priority on anyone’s mind is truth or justice.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_003279

Quotes & Awards

  • “A big, bitter, funny, craftily plotted book that grabs you by the lapels and won’t let go.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Impossible to put down.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Erupting from the first line with noise, color, tension and immediacy, this immensely entertaining novel accurately mirrors a system that has broken down: from the social code of basic good manners to the fair practices of the law…A brilliant evocation of New York’s class, racial and political structure in the 1980s.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Joe Barrett sends shivers up the spine…Wolfe’s Bonfire still burns bright with wit, mastery of plot and character, and an astonishing eye for detail.”

    AudioFile

  • “Wolfe’s genius may be better suited to fiction than to journalism; his novel has all the knowledge, insight, and wit of earlier works but tones down the notorious stylistic excesses. The result is not just Wolfe’s most successful book to date but one of the most impressive novels of the decade.”

    Library Journal

  • “Sheer entertainment against a fabulous background…Wolfe triumphantly mounts scene after magnificent scene depicting the vanity of human endeavor, with every character measured by his shoes and suits or dresses, his income and expenses, and with his vain desires rising in smoke against settings that would make a Hollywood director’s tongue hang out. Often hilarious, and much, much more.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “If you saw the movie and liked it, listen to this audiobook, which is a thousand times better.”

    SoundCommentary.com

  • Winner of the 1988 Ambassador Book Award for Fiction
  • A 2010 Audie Award Finalist
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A 1987 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 2/16/2014

    " Tom Wolfe is an excellent writer and thinker, really "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 2/6/2014

    " Great plot, intelligent social commentary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith Hull | 1/30/2014

    " I would have liked it better had I read it before American Psycho, and perhaps I need to amend my review of that as well. In fact the reason I took off a star isn't because of the style or any of the other literary elements I normally nit pick about. It's because I could see my future very easily becoming that of a minor character-- Sherman's wife, Judy. Walking around in the subways on my way to work with the painful fact that I, in my little Chanel flats and Fendi bag, am right on track to become the cuckolded wife of a Master of the Universe who will have as her biggest complaint that the truth didn't come out soon enough-- that is what made it lose a star. I can certainly see its place in literary history and agree with the shining praise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marlene Keith | 1/22/2014

    " If you've never had a hangover, you can read about the perfect one without having to experience it first hand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jordan | 1/20/2014

    " Not a real difficult read, but very entertaining. The end was disappointing and is the only reason I didn't give this 4 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Marsh | 1/8/2014

    " Thoroughly entertaining, even though I disliked every last character except Campbell, Henry, and Annie. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Victoria Meyer | 12/22/2013

    " Wish I had never read it. One of those choices you make at a social-minded bookstore because you think you should have read it. Don't. It's a painful read with awful characters that you don't care one ounce about. Wish I had the time back I spent on it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denerick | 12/20/2013

    " This is both a novel of ideas and a fast paced thriller. Enjoyed it immensely. I don't feel like defending it against its detractors, this book really is like marmite. You just have to either enjoy Wolfe's style of writing... or not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucia Fischer | 11/13/2013

    " Very enthralling writing style. Wolfe really draws you into the world of his characters, I feel like I've been given a thorough insight into some of the sub cultures of New York City. Wasn't too happy with the ending though, a bit abrupt considering the long build up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tanya Van | 5/9/2013

    " So fast, witty and entertaining, it will keep you away from the TV. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hank | 1/20/2013

    " Brilliant in bits and pieces. As a whole...different story. Too much Grisham. Not enough Wolfe. This was my first Tom Wolfe, and I still have A Man in Full on the shelf for the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alwa | 11/17/2012

    " "Thomas Kennerly Wolfe", eh? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Rhoades | 10/23/2012

    " This book is one of my all time favorites, not only because it is one of those "hard to put down" books, but because there are some instances, less than 10 but more than 2, in which Tom Wolfe captures a moment, a thought, an action, I had yet to hear captured in words. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Frederico Pinho | 8/21/2012

    " Achei uma seca! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bernie K. | 11/26/2011

    " A lot more cynical than the movie but at least as good. It also reminds one of what's going on in florida right now with the martin case, although it's not surprising with all the nyc figures traveling down the east coast to get involved in this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 11/18/2011

    " An entertaining read and great insight into 1980s New York from an upperclass white male perspective, but that also ends up being its weakness. Characters are unlikeable and, frankly, rather boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roberta Roth | 10/17/2011

    " Great book! It's amazing how money can change the status quo! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 10/8/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book...the story is compelling and the language is wonderful.. Wolfe captured normal morning for me perfectly when he described one of the characters waking with a hangover. Made me laugh out load. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ross | 5/14/2011

    " Tom Wolfe at his fullest and best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 esterb | 5/2/2011

    " I found it very hard to get into the story, for there were a lot of char­ac­ters to know and at first they didn’t inter­act with each other. But once all these peo­ple got together the story became very inter­est­ing and grabbed me. The book is really worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madeline | 4/21/2011

    " i read this so long ago, can't remember if I loved it as much as his other full length books. his short works are less interesting "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/11/2011

    " This book was WAAAAY too long. Wolfe took what would have been a wonderful short story or novella, and just cluttered it up with unnecessary fluff to make it a novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 4/2/2011

    " my second time reading this book, and it was just as good. wonderful character development, and an important message regarding race and wealth in our society. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tanja | 3/29/2011

    " Gave it up to page 306. Then I lost the will to live. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jon | 3/25/2011

    " Long. Hit-and-run is not a great plot vehicle. The writing style is great though. I love his work, but this just wasn't a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bex | 3/23/2011

    " Dragged in some parts, but a great book and, reading it in 2011, a fun look back to the eighties. Have now added "master of the universe" and "x-rays" to my daily vocabulary... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Oliver | 3/23/2011

    " Different for sure, and it did drag at times. It was hard to keep going sometimes,it was just so nerve racking. The main character was just soooo stupid sometimes. But overall it was a decent book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katharine | 3/16/2011

    " A very long book to read, but worth it. Modern day Dickens. Sooo funny, satire at its sharpest "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 3/15/2011

    " Good read, dated, but nothing changes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chaunce | 3/13/2011

    " This was a bit drawn out but I enjoyed it. The movie was awful. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
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

Joe Barrett has appeared both on and off Broadway as well as in hundreds of radio and television commercials. He has earned eighteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. He has narrated books by such authors as Trevanian, Brian Freeman, Don Winslow, and James W. Huston.