Hooking Up

Tom Wolfe, Author Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc $25 (293p) ISBN 978-0-374-10382-8
Arch, vengeful and incisive as ever, the standard bearer for the chattering classes is back, this time with a collection of nine previously published essays, one new one and a reprinted novella. Ranging from the spectacular innovations of neuroscience to the preposterous horrors of the contemporary art world to a bare-knuckled assessment of the critical reception to his novel A Man in Full (an essay that appears for the first time in this collection, and that will set tongues wagging), the pieces run the gamut of Wolfe's signature obsessions. Fans of his character sketches will relish ""Two Young Men Who Went West,"" a revelatory profile of Robert Noyce, a key innovator of the microchip who founded Intel in 1968, where the midwestern Congregationalist values he shared with his former mentor, William Shockley (founder of the original Silicon Valley startup, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory), grew into a business philosophy that's now so pervasive it's practically in the ether. Also included are Wolfe's infamous, irreverent profiles of New Yorker editors Harold Ross and William Shawn, originally published in 1968. Lopped off of Wolfe's most recent fiction opus, the novella ""Ambush in Fort Bragg"" concerns a ""TV sting"" run amok, and sits easily next to his journalism. However, Wolfe's meticulous eye for detail shows signs of jaundice in his hectoring anti-Communist tirades and in the title essay, which turns a snide backward glance on the turn of the millennium. Still, his fans will find plenty of evidence that Wolfe remains willing to plunge into ""the raw, raucous, lust-soaked rout that throbs with amped-up octophonic typanum all around [him]"" and thatDespecially in his nonfictionDhe can still grab the brass ring. Agent, Janklow & Nesbitt Associates. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-330-48611-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-1775-1
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 288 pages - 978-0-374-70073-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-1919-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-1776-8
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-312-42023-9
Hardcover - 978-1-56895-993-1
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