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Miami Archetypes Missing From Tom Wolfe's Upcoming Novel Back to Blood

Categories: Flotsam
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Tom Wolfe has been working on his next novel Back to Blood, an epic concerning race, class, and power in modern Miami, since 2007, and its finally set for an official release in October of this year. Amazon.com's listing has the first official summary of the book, and its basically just a list of characters. There's no sense of how all these disparate characters weave together, and only the slightest hints of plot. Basically the book seems like its chock full of breakdowns of every Miami archetype ever. Well, almost every archetype.

Here's the descriptions of the characters that do appear in the novel:

  • the Cuban mayor
  • the black police chief
  • "a wanna-go-muckraking young journalist"
  • a "Yale-marinated" newspaper editor
  • a white rich doctor who specializes in sex addiction.
  • his Latina nurse/fuck buddy
  • a police officer named Nestor
  • "a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti"
  • "her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin' little brother"
  • a billionaire with a porn addiction
  • crack dealers
  • conceptual artists who display at Art Basel Miami Beach
  • people who go to the Biscayne Bay regatta in search of an orgy (???)
  • Old retired Jews from New York
  • a group of shady Russians

Bickering Cuban and black political figures? Shady rich people? Immigrants trying to get ahead one way or another? Retirees from New York? Well, that describes roughly half the population of Miami.

Oddly, though, there are a lot of obvious Miami stereotypes missing. Likely because Wolfe's fiction is informed by reporting, and the guys is 81. So it's no surprise really that most of the aspects of Miami he apparently won't be touching on are more of a young man's game. But if Wolfe ever wants to write a sequel, we've got a whole bunch of Miami-types he's sorely missing:

  • the reclusive nightlife honcho who balances his work in the industry with his recovering addict status
  • the aging drag queen who boasts about entertaining Gianni Versace and continually laments South Beach's fading gay heritage
  • the shady, 20-something arms dealer
  • the DJ whose networking skills far exceed his mixing skills
  • bicycle-riding activist punks
  • a modeling agency doyenne who starts pimping out her models to pay the bills
  • the money and power hungry condo developer
  • people who go to Winter Party in search of an orgy (!!!)
  • a Brazilian playboy
  • the anti-Castro Spanish radio personality
  • the chonga, of course.

Maybe next time Wolfe.

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16 comments
stevesailer
stevesailer

the shady, 20-something arms dealerEfraim Diverloi!

Cuban lobbyists
Cuban lobbyists

How about blood sucking Cuban lobbyists who would "sell their mothers for "a dolla""?Ever wonder why Cubans want to pave the Everglades? Why the Cubans want to put up more billboards? Why the Cuban elected officials (and a few other corrupt pols) voted to give $3 Billion to the Marlins?

A dolla.

<< Work at home, $45/h, link
<< Work at home, $45/h, link

The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.

Cheap salesman
Cheap salesman

How about salesman of overpriced condos, Jorge Perez? This creep buys some cheap "art" then convinces some lowlife's to let him put his name on a billboard on a public park so he can sell more condos.

SamEw
SamEw

I can't deny that Wolfe uses archetypes that said as someone who was a college freshman in 2004 I think his 2005 I am Charlotte Simmons captured a lot of what it really is like to be on a college campus. It's true his novels are not as seemless as his non-fiction but show me another writer who has written popular fiction with themes touching stoicism, french philosophy, and  neuroscience.  

Corrupt Cubans
Corrupt Cubans

He should write about the Cubans who come to Miami with their corrupt backgrounds and there dictator mentality. How Cuban elected officials make corrupt decisions as they pander to their Cuban friends.

Carlos AlvarezManny DiazBruno BarrerioEtc

Anonymouse
Anonymouse

wolfe's novels, all three of them, have relied heavily on archetypal characters. it's his journalistic eye that captures how all of these characters relate, interact, and behave. the guy is a hell of a journalist, but his fiction has been a little bit of a letdown.

Love
Love

Sounds stupid.

Cuban deadbeats
Cuban deadbeats

Cuban Mayor, with the $5,000 self confessed Net Worth, Tomas Regalado fired Thomas Wolfe's friend Police Chief John Timoney. Timoney introduces Wolfe to Regalado then gets axed.

Cuban Mayor?
Cuban Mayor?

Cuban Mayor?Cuban Carlos Alvarez got recalled by 88% of the voters.Cuban Mayor Manny Diaz slithered out of office in disgrace after lobbying for the Marlins deal now under SEC investigation.Cuban Tomas Regalado who surrounds himself with low IQ yes men.

JDM
JDM

How is a corrupt Cuban politician in Miami any different than the corrupt white guy in Chicago?

The Heartlander
The Heartlander

Wow, I couldn't disagree more! A Man In Full is one of THE great American novels. Not to mention Bonfire of the Vanities (book is much better than movie). And I Am Charlotte Simmons, which many folks think is funny, is nevertheless one of the most profound tragedies I've ever read. I cried off and on for weeks after reading that book. Wolfe's writing is more powerful, alive and hit-the-nail-on-the-head than any other novelist I can think of.

Michael Miller
Michael Miller

Bonfire of the Vanities was a letdown? Pretty harsh, Anonymouse. Or should I call you... Thomas Pynchon.

theCardinal
theCardinal

i think Timoney introduced him to Diaz

theCardinal
theCardinal

ditto on anonymous.  you've obviously never read Wolfe.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse

all of which make for enticing literature, my friend. have you read any of wolfe's novels? they are all chock full of, ahem, archetypal characters. 

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