patricia's Reviews > I am Charlotte Simmons

I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
Rate this book
Clear rating

F 50x66
's review
Jul 02, 2007

did not like it
Recommended for: no one
Read in January, 2007

I can't figure out why Tom Wolfe is so revered...maybe because of Bonfire of the Vanities. But this book is a study in poorly developed sensationalism with hyperbole. All the characters are one-dimensional stereotypes, the plot is predictable, and the writing banal. I think people like this book for the same reason they like Joan Collins or US Weekly - we know it is trash and we like trash. Sadly, this is not even good trash. (Bad trash! Bad trash!)

According to this book, students are only able to be one of 5 people: intellectual yet wildly naive misfit who sells her soul to be popular; stupid athlete in a system that supports cheating; slutty overprivileged prep school girl who has no time for studying in between her sexual liasions and alcoholic binges; geeky newspaper nerd with meglomanical delusions; stupid rich frat boy with meglomaniacal delusions and a vocabulary consisting only of 4-letter words. Hmm. Hard to pick as I am so similar to them all.

Full disclosure - I also take some slight personal offense to this book because it is a thinly-veiled representation of my alma mater, and one that perpetuates the media sensationalism around my school that I feel is very misguided. Given that Wolfe's daughter went there as well and apparently read the manuscript, I have to wonder what her father thinks she was doing for 4 years.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read I am Charlotte Simmons.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by nihal (new)

nihal mirza You got to read "The painted word" and "The Mau Mauing and the Flack Catchers". The "Kandy Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby". These books are brilliant. I think it's old age and/or laziness.

back to top