Vanity Overlooks Nobody: Wolfe’s Bonfire

The title of Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) is just that.  The title explains it all.  There are an awful lot of vain and pompous characters in this book, and nobody escapes the scathing criticism and caricatured representations of Wolfe.  It is brilliant writing, astute observations about human nature, and an intriguing... Continue Reading →

Three American Tragedies (1906, 1925, and 2002)

I first read Theodore Dreiser’s masterpiece An American Tragedy (1925) during the summer of 2003.  Little did I know that the story unfolding before me in that book would also play out on my television set.  It was as if Dreiser had gone to the future, observed what Scott Peterson did to his wife Laci... Continue Reading →

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