I opened Tom Wolfe’s Back To Blood on Thursday afternoon! It is now Saturday afternoon and every word on each of the 704 pages has been digested! I guess I could simply end my overview with that! However, it can not go unsaid that Tom Wolfe engages the reader from the first page whether it be Bonfire of the Vanities or my favorite Wolfe novel, I am Charlotte Simmons.
Back to Blood catapults the reader into the political and social structure of Miami. There is little left out of this vivid painting. A WASP publisher of the Miami Herald seeks to avoid controversy at all costs. Add to the mix a young aspiring reporter, A black chief of police, a Cuban mayor, and a police officer, also Cuban, who with great consistency finds himself in the middle of two huge stories that threaten the delicate balance between all of the competing constituencies within this cosmopolitan melting pot. There is also plenty of humor, bringing back images of Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen, another Miami based novel.
With great skill, Wolfe introduces the ethnic beauty of the women of Miami who play a major role adding to the complexity of relationships as played out by the protagonist police officer Nestor Camacho. There are dozens of contemporary themes as a video of a police drug take down goes viral, a local psychiatrist specializing in pornographic addiction becomes a high-profile TV Doctor, a stunning light-skinned Haitian woman of French heritage is a love interest. Miami Art Basel and a new Miami Art Museum become a focal point in a fake painting fraud perpetuated by a Russian Oligarch and his entourage. Wolfe carefully and with great creativity brings all of these factions together in a tumultuous conclusion.
Place Back to Blood on the Christmas gift list for friends who enjoy a good read. Pick up the hard cover as any Tom Wolfe novel is worth a permanent place in a book lovers library. Luckily, Back to Blood arrived when the family was traveling and I only had my dog to offend with my face in a book for two days. What pleasure great writing can bring and the new Tom Clancy novel Threat Vector is on the way December 4th!