“This book was spot on 20 years ago, and with everything that's been going on with Wall Street over the last few years REALLY should be read again now. ”Leslie N wrote this review Wednesday, September 15, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“By the time I reached the back cover of this book I was glad to be finished. Someone has described Wolfe's writing as Dickensian and this book is in that the characters are described at length. This had me empathising which each character in turn, see-sawing my support. It is rather slow and has a damp squid ending (almost as if he was in a hurry to finish writing). Nevertheless I think I learnt something about New York city life.”Neil T wrote this review Monday, September 6, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wonderfully dry satire”Readingrat wrote this review Friday, July 30, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fast-paced, fun. That's about it.”Wm t. Skillets wrote this review Tuesday, June 1, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Powerful example of how being in the wrong place at the wrong time can lead anyone to tragedy. In this case, the victim and the protagonist. (Opportunism at its worst).”Donna P wrote this review Friday, May 28, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Brilliant, fast paced, gritty, extremely funny towards the end despite the drama! ”mariamcm wrote this review Sunday, May 16, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“What’s the Point?
Prior to actually reading it, my understanding of Bonfire was that it’s one of those “must reads” for any self proclaimed American bibliophile because it is a landmark piece of cultural satire. Now that I’ve read it I can say that in no way does this book live up to ANY of its hype.
Although this is not the first time this has happened, it never ceases to irritate me when I walk away from a book with no actual “walk aways”, ie, “what a GREAT story!” or “did not see that twist coming”, or “I need a moment alone…those sex scenes were ridiculous!” After finish Bonfire, my only thought was, “ok, so what?” The story takes place in NYC circa the 80’s. The focal character is a quintessential, self made yuppie, Wall Street bonds trader whose life comes crumbling down after he’s involved in an unfortunate late night encounter in the Bronx, apparently the borough from hell during this decade. What ensues is a strange smattering of social clichés with little cultural context (I would’ve loved more references to the political and pop culture landscapes of the time) and zero character development. I suppose you could draw some parallels with greed of Wall Street then to the all out corruption of Wall Street today but when the author seemingly has no opinion about it, there is nothing the reader can do with it.
In short, this is 685 pages you could be spending elsewhere.
“The thing that I liked most about this book was the satirical perspective and the humor. I had orginal thought that I wasn't going to really enjoy this book as much as I did. The characters were colorful. the descriptions were very detailed. I think that I will enjoy reading more books by this author. ”Jill wrote this review Tuesday, April 6, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Loved it. Very descriptive. Could not stop reading it until there was nothing left...”PugLover wrote this review Monday, March 1, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No