From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* After skewering academia in I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004), Wolfe, the impish, white-suited satirist, eviscerates a city-in-flux as he did with New York in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) and Atlanta in A Man in Full (1998). This time he takes on Miami, which, as one character declares, is not America. Wolfe's pizzazz and obsessions are on peacock display, from slapstick action to ironic stereotypes to photorealist settings, including smugly trendy restaurants, a gated island, the bawdy Biscayne Bay regatta, and the prestigious annual exhibition, Art Basel Miami. The king and queen in his chess-set cast of characters are two young Cuban Americans determined to ascend above the modest homes and rigid mindsets of their Little Havana neighborhood. Freakishly muscular Nestor is a sweet-natured cop who earns combustible notoriety when he daringly rescues an illegal Cuban immigrant from atop a ship's mast. Beautiful Magdalena is a nurse working for an Anglo psychiatrist who treats wealthy patients addicted to pornography. Also on the board are a sly, Waspy reporter; a suspect Russian art collector; and a lovely Haitian college student. Within a masterfully strategized plot, Wolfe works his sardonic mojo to mock both prejudice and decadence and demolish the art world, reality TV, tawdry fame, and journalism in the digital age. Though plagued with belabored sex scenes, this is a shrewd, riling, and exciting tale of a volatile, divisive, sun-seared city where everybody hates everybody. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Anticipation has been high for several years now, so the publisher will crank up the publicity for what can legitimately be dubbed a cultural event.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist