Back to Blood

A Novel

Fiction - Audiobook
Audio Book
Reviewed on 04/28/2013
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sharon Fawley for Readers' Favorite

In "Back to Blood", Tom Wolfe tells a complex tale of modern Miami with all of its racial, social, and cultural conflicts. The story focuses on the lives of two young Cubans struggling to rise above the constraints of their circumstances. They start out as lovers, but quickly go their separate ways, each bungling through challenges and often hilarious missteps, as they grope toward their own unique visions of a better life. Along the way, they run headlong into racial conflicts, rampant pornography, the drug scene, art forgery and fraud, and mass media. Both experience breaks with their families and their communities. This is a huge story filled with carefully drawn characters, each relentlessly acting out their own agendas and thrown into wild conflict with the others. The two young Cubans, Nestor and Magdalena, are at the center of it all and hardly seem to comprehend the forces acting upon them.

Tom Wolfe is fascinated with power – social, political, and personal. That fascination runs through the book as his characters struggle with who has power and who doesn't and how they use it or fail to use it. Fortunately, he also has a dazzling ability to create bigger than life characters and put them into outrageous situations that interlock into a plot line full of unexpected twists and turns. Wolfe manages both his characters and his plot expertly to keep the reader churning through the pages to the very end. Even at the very end, Wolfe resists the temptation to tie up all the loose ends. Instead, he leaves the reader wanting more.