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Old 05-15-18, 03:41 PM   #1
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Tom Wolfe - Dead at 88

Tom Wolfe dies at 88
by Chris Isidore and Tom Kludt @CNNMoney
May 15, 2018: 12:58 PM ET
Innovative journalist Tom Wolfe dies

Tom Wolfe, the innovative journalist and author who wrote such best-selling masterpieces as "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Right Stuff" has passed away.
Wolfe, 88, had been hospitalized with an infection and died Monday, according to his agent Lynn Nesbit.

Wolfe started as a reporter at the Springfield (Massachusetts) Union before moving onto the Washington Post. He moved to New York in 1962 to join the New York Herald-Tribune and remained in the city for the rest of his life.

He was known as a pioneer of a literary style in nonfiction that became known as New Journalism. It was a long-form of writing in which writers deeply immersed themselves in the subject they were writing about. The style relied on rich and detailed description that evoked a more literary style of prose than found in typical non-fiction works.

He became a leader in the field. Wolfe edited a volume of work by himself and other prominent writers of the era, including Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, titled "The New Journalism."

Related: Real books are back! E-Book sales plunge 20%

By then he had already published a number of ground-breaking books of his own, including "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," in which Wolfe provided a psychedelic chronicle of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as they experimented with LSD. He went on to write "The Right Stuff" about the Mercury space program.

He then moved onto his first work of fiction, "The Bonfire of the Vanities" a seminal tale of 1980s New York involving a Wall Street banker, a Bronx high school student, and a tabloid reporter. He wrote the work as a series of stories written on deadline every two weeks for Rolling Stone in 1984 and 1985. It was later published in book form in 1987.

Wolfe became a major figure in the New York social scene, identified with his distinct personal style -- typified by a white, 3-piece suit. He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and went to college at Washington and Lee University and received his PhD from Yale.
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Old 05-15-18, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: Tom Wolfe - Dead at 88

I always liked his writing. Loved "Bonfires" so much.

I have a signed First-Edition of "A Man in Full". One of my very first purchases ever on Amazon in 1998. I imagine it has some value now.
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Old 05-15-18, 09:19 PM   #3
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Re: Tom Wolfe - Dead at 88

Sad news. The only Wolfe book I read was Bonfire of the Vanities, back in the early '90's. Brilliant book with scathing social commentary - extremely well-done.

The less said about the extremely poor Tom Hanks film adaptation, the better...
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Old 05-17-18, 07:59 AM   #4
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Re: Tom Wolfe - Dead at 88

Anyone read the Right Stuff? That seems like it should be a good interesting read...
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Old 05-17-18, 08:58 AM   #5
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Re: Tom Wolfe - Dead at 88

The Right Stuff was a great read. The Kandy-Kolor Tangerine Flake Streamlined Baby gives the history of car racing from the moonshine drivers to NASCAR. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test was about the California psychedelic era. (Owlsley owned a pharmaceutical company, so he legally made pharmaceutical-grade LSD.) I liked them all, but I couldn't get into The Bonfire of the Vanities.

I will read everything I see that has his byline.

Wolfe always wore a white suit. Some TV interviewer asked him after the disco era if he had been concerned when Saturday Night Fever made it a fashion to wear white suits. He said no, not really. He explained that a white suit can only be worn two or three times before it has to go the dry cleaners. At the cleaners, other items will bleed onto it, so it needs to be the only item in the drum. You have to pay extra for your white suit to be cleaned all by itself. He knew the fashion wouldn't last because it was too expensive to maintain. I was amused.
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