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Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



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I Am Charlotte Simmons

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I Am Charlotte Simmons Cover

ISBN13: 9780374281588
ISBN10: 0374281580
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"To Wolfe's immense journalistic credit, the college experience he renders in I Am Charlotte Simmons is actually pretty accurate. The book is an amalgamation, of sorts, of Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, PCU and Old School, minus the comic pratfalls and with a heavy dose of angst....But the problem with this particular narrow setting is that it is too familiar. Anyone who has been an undergrad in, say, the last 30 years has lived through all of this, and there's not much new to learn." Priya Jain, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Dupont University — the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

As Charlotte encounters Dupont's privileged elite — her roommate, Beverly, a fleshy, Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont's godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turk of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the university's "independent" newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock-obsessed campus — she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.

With his signature eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the '00s. I Am Charlotte Simmons is the much-anticipated triumph of America's master chronicler.

Review:

"What New York City finance was to Wolfe in the 1980s and Southern real estate in the '90s, the college campus is in this sprawling, lurid novel: a flashpoint for cultural standards and the setting for a modern parable. At elite Dupont (a fictional school based on Wolfe's research at places like Stanford and Michigan), the author unspools a standard college story with a 21st-century twist. jocks, geeks, prudes and partiers are up to their usual exploits, only now with looser sexual mores and with the aid of cell phones. Wolfe begins, as he might say, with a 'bango': two frat boys tangle with the bodyguard of a politician they've caught in a sex act. We then race through plots involving students' candy-colored interactions with each other and inside their own heads: Charlotte, a cipher and prodigy from a conservative Southern family whose initiation into dorm life Wolfe milks to much dramatic advantage; Jojo, a white basketball player struggling with race, academic guilt and job security; Hoyt, a BMOC frat boy with rage issues; Adam, a student reporter cowed by alpha males. As in Wolfe's other novels, characters typically fall into two categories: superior types felled by their own vanity and underdogs forced to rely on wiles. But what in Bonfire of the Vanities were powerful competing archetypes playing out cultural battles here seem simply thin and binary types. Wolfe's promising setup never leads to a deeper contemplation of race, sex or general hierarchies. Instead, there is a virtual recitation of facts, albeit colorful ones, with little social insight beyond the broadly obvious. (Athletes getting a free pass? The sheltered receiving rude awakenings?) Boasting casual sex and machismo-fueled violence, the novel seems intent on shocking, but little here will surprise even those well past their term-paper years. Wolfe's adrenalized prose remains on display — e.g., a basketball game seen from inside a player's head — and he weaves a story that comes alive with cinematic vividness. But, like a particular kind of survey course, readers are likely to breeze through these pages — yet find themselves with little to show for it." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Charlotte's delicately drawn highs and lows give the book an unexpectedly tender heart....[R]ich, wise, absorbing and irresistible....Wolfe does things with words — exhilarating, intoxicating, impossible things — that no other writer can do." Lev Grossman, Time

Review:

"[T]iresomely generic if hyperbolic....[T]he plot of Charlotte Simmons [is] a cheap, jerry-built affair that manages the unfortunate trick of being messy and predictable at the same time." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"[W]hat really sinks Charlotte Simmons, and makes it without a doubt Mr. Wolfe's worst novel, is the gaping failure of sociological realism at its core....The result is not even a caricature of college life, but a fantasy..." Adam Kirsch, The New York Sun

Review:

"[S]ince his characters are basically laboratory animals observed in complicated though not highly evolved behaviors, Charlotte Simmons offers nothing more nourishing than a supersize plot flavored with pungent observation of manners." Newsweek

Synopsis:

With his signature eye for detail, the New York Times bestselling atuhor draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the '00s.

Synopsis:

Dupont University--the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition . . . Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

As Charlotte encounters Dupont's privileged elite--her roommate, Beverly, a Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont's godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turk of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the university's "independent" newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock-obsessed campus--she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.

With his signature eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the '00s. I Am Charlotte Simmons is the much-anticipated triumph of America's master chronicler.

Synopsis:

2005 Audie Award Finalist
Americas “peerless observer” (People) uncovers college life—from jocks to mutants, dormcest to tailgating—plus race, class, sex, and basketball

Dupont University—the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of Americas youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition...Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

As Charlotte encounters Duponts privileged elite—her roommate, Beverly, a fleshy, Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Duponts godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turn of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the universitys “independent” newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock- obsessed campus—she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.
With his signature eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the ‘00s. I Am Charlotte Simmons is the much-anticipated triumph of Americas master chronicler.

About the Author

Tom Wolfe is the author of more than a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and A Man in Full. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he earned his B.A. at Washington and Lee University and a Ph.D. in American studies at Yale. He lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Michelle, January 5, 2007 (view all comments by Michelle)
I couldn't put it down. Even though I wanted to smack Charlotte sometimes, this is definitely a book to read!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
floridecolorado, October 19, 2006 (view all comments by floridecolorado)
Wolfe offers no great expose of contemorary academic life, but Charlotte nevertheless leaves the reader feeling cynical and (almost) hopeless. So the great American Empire has degenerated to such an extent that its greatest repositories of human learning are little more than hedonistic cauldrons of egos and libidos thrashing and clashing. Sure makes one want to never have any children.
Seems like Wolfe pulled his punches in skewering the mind-numbing political correctness on campuses today and how any student who dares to be non-leftist is ostracized, and worse.
I almost believe, after Tom Wolfe dies, that a properly done autopsy would reveal that the novelist has a supernatural ability to read peoples' minds. He seems to know what's in the heart of anybody and everybody.
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374281588
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Wolfe, Tom
Author:
Baker, Dylan
Publisher:
Picador
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Social classes
Subject:
Women college students
Subject:
College stories.
Subject:
Difference
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
November 9, 2004
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 cds, 10 hours
Pages:
752
Dimensions:
6.32 x 4.7 x 1.05 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

I Am Charlotte Simmons Used Hardcover
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$0.95 In Stock
Product details 752 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374281588 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "What New York City finance was to Wolfe in the 1980s and Southern real estate in the '90s, the college campus is in this sprawling, lurid novel: a flashpoint for cultural standards and the setting for a modern parable. At elite Dupont (a fictional school based on Wolfe's research at places like Stanford and Michigan), the author unspools a standard college story with a 21st-century twist. jocks, geeks, prudes and partiers are up to their usual exploits, only now with looser sexual mores and with the aid of cell phones. Wolfe begins, as he might say, with a 'bango': two frat boys tangle with the bodyguard of a politician they've caught in a sex act. We then race through plots involving students' candy-colored interactions with each other and inside their own heads: Charlotte, a cipher and prodigy from a conservative Southern family whose initiation into dorm life Wolfe milks to much dramatic advantage; Jojo, a white basketball player struggling with race, academic guilt and job security; Hoyt, a BMOC frat boy with rage issues; Adam, a student reporter cowed by alpha males. As in Wolfe's other novels, characters typically fall into two categories: superior types felled by their own vanity and underdogs forced to rely on wiles. But what in Bonfire of the Vanities were powerful competing archetypes playing out cultural battles here seem simply thin and binary types. Wolfe's promising setup never leads to a deeper contemplation of race, sex or general hierarchies. Instead, there is a virtual recitation of facts, albeit colorful ones, with little social insight beyond the broadly obvious. (Athletes getting a free pass? The sheltered receiving rude awakenings?) Boasting casual sex and machismo-fueled violence, the novel seems intent on shocking, but little here will surprise even those well past their term-paper years. Wolfe's adrenalized prose remains on display — e.g., a basketball game seen from inside a player's head — and he weaves a story that comes alive with cinematic vividness. But, like a particular kind of survey course, readers are likely to breeze through these pages — yet find themselves with little to show for it." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "To Wolfe's immense journalistic credit, the college experience he renders in I Am Charlotte Simmons is actually pretty accurate. The book is an amalgamation, of sorts, of Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, PCU and Old School, minus the comic pratfalls and with a heavy dose of angst....But the problem with this particular narrow setting is that it is too familiar. Anyone who has been an undergrad in, say, the last 30 years has lived through all of this, and there's not much new to learn." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review" by , "Charlotte's delicately drawn highs and lows give the book an unexpectedly tender heart....[R]ich, wise, absorbing and irresistible....Wolfe does things with words — exhilarating, intoxicating, impossible things — that no other writer can do."
"Review" by , "[T]iresomely generic if hyperbolic....[T]he plot of Charlotte Simmons [is] a cheap, jerry-built affair that manages the unfortunate trick of being messy and predictable at the same time."
"Review" by , "[W]hat really sinks Charlotte Simmons, and makes it without a doubt Mr. Wolfe's worst novel, is the gaping failure of sociological realism at its core....The result is not even a caricature of college life, but a fantasy..."
"Review" by , "[S]ince his characters are basically laboratory animals observed in complicated though not highly evolved behaviors, Charlotte Simmons offers nothing more nourishing than a supersize plot flavored with pungent observation of manners."
"Synopsis" by , With his signature eye for detail, the New York Times bestselling atuhor draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the '00s.
"Synopsis" by ,
Dupont University--the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition . . . Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

As Charlotte encounters Dupont's privileged elite--her roommate, Beverly, a Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont's godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turk of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the university's "independent" newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock-obsessed campus--she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.

With his signature eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the '00s. I Am Charlotte Simmons is the much-anticipated triumph of America's master chronicler.

"Synopsis" by ,
2005 Audie Award Finalist
Americas “peerless observer” (People) uncovers college life—from jocks to mutants, dormcest to tailgating—plus race, class, sex, and basketball

Dupont University—the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of Americas youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition...Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

As Charlotte encounters Duponts privileged elite—her roommate, Beverly, a fleshy, Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Duponts godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turn of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the universitys “independent” newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock- obsessed campus—she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.
With his signature eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the ‘00s. I Am Charlotte Simmons is the much-anticipated triumph of Americas master chronicler.

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