Big men. Big money. Big games. Big libidos. Big trouble.
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.