This is Wolfe's second novel. A Man In Full features a number of point-of-view characters. These include Charles "Cap'm Charlie" Croker, a real estate mogul and member of Atlanta's high society who is suddenly facing bankruptcy; Martha Croker, his first wife, trying to maintain her social standing without her husband; Ray Peepgass, who is trying illegally to capitalize on Croker's fall; Roger "Too White" White II, a prominent black lawyer; and Conrad Hensley, a young man in prison who discovers Stoic philosophy.
The novel begins with the characters learning of the rumored rape of a young white heiress by a black superstar athlete, Fareek "The Canon" Fanon. Though the incident itself is unimportant to the lives of the characters, the potential for the rumor to incite race riots in metropolitan Atlanta has a profound effect on all of their lives. Local politics and business interests become involved, including the president of the bank to which Croker is indebted, Roger Too White's former fraternity brother (now Mayor of Atlanta), and the entirety of 'respectable' Atlanta society.
A Man In Full is written much in the style of Wolfe's other fictions, such as The Bonfire of the Vanities and I Am Charlotte Simmons .