A decade ago, The Bonfire of the Vanities defined an era--and established Tom Wolfe as our prime fictional chronicler of America at its most outrageous and alive. This time the setting is Atlanta, Georgia--a racially mixed late-century boomtown full of fresh wealth, avid speculators, and worldly-wise politicians. The protagonist is Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real-estate entrepreneur turned conglomerate king, whose expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 28,000-acre quail-shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife--and a half-empty office tower with a staggering load of debt. When star running back Fareek Fanon--the pride of one of Atlanta's grimmest slums--is accused of raping an Atlanta blueblood's daughter, the city's delicate racial balance is shattered overnight. Networks of illegal Asian immigrants crisscrossing the continent, daily life behind bars, shady real-estate syndicates, cast-off first wives of the corporate elite, the racially charged politics of college sports--Wolfe shows us the disparate worlds of contemporary America with all the verve, wit, and insight that have made him our most phenomenal, most admired contemporary novelist.
A Man in Full is a 1998 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.
Before crack, there was cocaine. In 1972, New Yorkers bought more powdered cocaine than heroin, and they paid dearly for it. Pimps, rock stars, UN delegates, and high school students all turned on with snow. Some used casually, and some threw their lives away for its fleeting high. The drug’s devotees showed their allegiance with a golden coke spoon necklace—a sign of the wealth required to maintain a habit when the drug sold for as much as seventy-five dollars a hit. They used it to party, to work, and to have sex. They snorted it, shot it, and rubbed it on their gums. And more and more, they killed and died for the sake of the priceless white powder.
In this staggering exposé, Marc Olden gets to the heart of New York’s cocaine underworld, painting an exhaustive picture of the drug’s effects on society—from the highest highs to the lowest lows.
A history of drug-taking, telling the story across five centuries of addicts and users: monarchs, prime ministers, great writers and composers, wounded soldiers, overworked physicians, oppressed housewives, exhausted labourers, high-powered businessmen, playboys, sex workers, pop stars, seedy losers, stressed adolescents, defiant schoolchildren, the victims of the ghetto, and happy young people on a spree.
It is also the history of one bad idea, prohibition.
'You'll find almost everything you ever wanted to know about drugs in this work, except how to get hold of them'
Simon Garfield, FINANCIAL TIMES
'Everyone with any influence on government policy should read this book and wake up before it is too late'
Phillip Knightley, SUNDAY TIMES
"This is a book that will be a sharp pleasure to reread years from now, when it will bring back, like a falcon in the sky of memory, a whole world that is currently jetting and jazzing its way somewhere or other."--Newsweek
In his first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965) Wolfe introduces us to the sixties, to extravagant new styles of life that had nothing to do with the "elite" culture of the past.