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in full

A Man in Full

A Man in Full is a novel by Tom Wolfe, published in 1998 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. This 742-page satire portrays a high-flying real-estate mogul amid the intricate social dynamics of Atlanta, the vibrant capital of the New South. Part of the novel also takes place in depressed Oakland, California.

Literary significance and criticism

Most of the mainstream American newspapers and news magazines gave the book positive reviews. However, a second wave of reviews in more highbrow literary outlets were more critical. Much of this more pointed criticism came from a cadre of established American novelists, including John Updike, Norman Mailer and John Irving. Wolfe countered this criticism in his book Hooking Up, calling the three authors his "three stooges" who were actually shaken by the support he received. The novelists, he claimed, were threatened by the success of his technique - writing a novel based on reporting techniques - and were failing to engage the world around them. According to Mailer's review, the book had sold over 750,000 copies by December 1998.

The book alludes to and caricatures some prominent members of Atlanta society. Released eleven years after Wolfe's bestselling novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full was widely anticipated; Wolfe was known to be working on the research for this follow-up effort for several years.

Book on tape

The book on tape, in both the abridged and unabridged version, is read by American actor David Ogden Stiers.

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