Monday, April 22, 2013

C.J. Box on Tom Wolfe from The Mystery Scene blog


C.J. Box on Tom Wolfe

Written by C.J. Box
It often stuns me—and not in a good way—when I hear other mystery authors say they don’t read beyond our genre. Some of them, it seems, hardly read at all!
I make it a point to read widely. Fiction, nonfiction, literary, mystery…that’s how my to-be-read pile is arranged. One reason for this—as well as pure curiosity—is strategic. I want my own books to flash glimmers of the real world beyond the plot or whodunit. I think it makes the books richer, and I know when I read that’s what I’m on the lookout for.
Tom Wolfe is as much journalist-slash-sociologist as novelist, and it’s one of the many things I appreciate about him. Whether it’s the New York City of Bonfire of the Vanities, the New South of A Man in Full, or the “Dupont University” of I Am Charlotte Simmons, the reader experience is intense because the novels provide total immersion in specific places. InBack to Blood, Wolfe zeros his rifle scope on the present day Miami of racial and ethnic tribalism. Whew!

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1 comment:

Mathew Paust said...

Haven't read Wolfe in ages. Clearly am remiss. The line of his that becomes an earworm whenever I think of him is "Bibe bordy bibe," which I believe is the opening line of The Right Stuff.