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I Am Charlotte Simmons

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  21,941 Ratings  ·  1,918 Reviews
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 ...more
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Published November 9th 2004 by MacMillan Audio
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Chad Wemyss
May 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
"I am Tom Wolfe... " and therefore I can write whatever I want. And people will still buy my over-long, thinly-developed, poorly-constructed tirade against 'kids these days.'

It's called a stereotype, Tom. You should probably avoid making all your characters painfully simple cardboard cutouts of actual people. And I'm pretty sure I've seen all of these before, in EVERY movie and book about "college" ever produced.

To inventory:
- The main protagonist, the archetypical smart girl who's better looki
...more
La Petite Américaine
Aug 18, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who care about college
Shelves: sucked, rants
Sigh.

771 pages. Talking about college. How college is shocking for sheltered girls. How college (shocker) isn't really about academia, but sports, beer, sex, and pretty much everything that the university brochures lie about in order to protect their reputations and continue charging $30,000 a year for an "education." This could be written by ANYONE, and in less than HALF the pages.

When a book is bad, and too long, there is a certain point in reading the same shit over and over when your mind ju
...more
Andrea
May 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: somebody in need of a doorstop
Yawn or cringe? Eye roll? So imagine your grandpa takes you out to the Dog 'n Suds for a root beer float. He goes on to tell you about what life was like at college - not for him but for you. He sprinkles in terms like "phat" and "shorty" and "rad" and "rutting" throughout his tale. Grandpa has been dipping into the Dictionary of American Youth Slang written by the Youth Minister at his church, who has covered the volume in a plain black cover lest it fall into the hands of the few blessed innoc ...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
This was far too long. When I am 200 pages into a book, I do not want a 50 page background on a character that probably wont matter anyway. Read The Rules of Attraction or The Sorrows of Young Mike if you want to know about college kids. Tom Wolfe is for people who have a lot of time on their hands.
Holly
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
I came to I Am Charlotte Simmons with trepidation. I had read the reviews that likened Wolfe to a voyeur and questioned his motivation in spending years "observing" typical college students fifty years his junior. It seemed creepy. But when I saw it in the bargain bin, I couldn't resist, and as it turned out, I couldn't put the thing down. Wolfe is a great writer and storyteller, and although there are some weird things about the book, like his linguistic obsessions over current uses of profanit ...more
Elaine
May 10, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wolfe could not seem to decide whether he wanted Charlotte Simmons to be a satire or a legitimate zeitgeist piece. Thus, the characters come off as caricatures to ill effect. Wolfe should take a page from Sinclair Lewis, who somehow managed to write biting satire with still-believable protagonists at the helm. Wolfe could have also gone all out and just made this an absurd piece of literature, but he clearly intended to use this book as a revelation on modern college life.

In Wolfe's defense:
Thou
...more
Adam
Mar 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1970-present, prose
Fuck me. I thought everyone was overreacting and being all tight-assed about this book for some reason, and I know one or two people who like this book, so I thought I'd give it a shot, but holy fuck... This book really is an 80 year old white Southern guy's 700+ page rant about kids these days.

Tom Wolfe supposedly did years of research for this book to capture the social reality of college, but I guess he was too busy banging undergrads to really pay attention to what was going on around him b
...more
Ron Charles
Halfway through Tom Wolfe's enormous new novel about contemporary college life, I finally devised a question to keep my interest piqued: "Is it humanly possible," I wondered, "to write another 100 pages - another 200 pages, another 300 pages - without describing a single surprising event?"

It is.

With "I Am Charlotte Simmons," Wolfe has ventured onto the university campus and sent back reams of hyperventilating testimony: College students are slovenly and crude. They drink way too much. They liste
...more
Brett
May 30, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any girl who has ever gone through the journey of the small liberal arts big name college will know parts of Charlotte in ways that take them back to times and insecurities that are far better left forgotten. Charlotte, the brain trust of her small town, enters the world of the privledged "it's mine because I'm entitled to it" college student. It should be a coming of age tale, and it is but in the twisted way. Charlotte loses herself and every belief she held to fit in from the first day of her ...more
Nick
Jan 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I picked this up at the big garage sale that my work puts on. It caught my eye and I remember being interested in it after reading a review of it when it came out. It's a pretty thick book, over 750 pages, and I didn't plan on reading it for a while. I read the first few chapters when I got home and got very caught up in it. It is one of those books where once you've start reading it, everything else in your life takes a back seat and you can't do anything else but read the book until you're don ...more
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Wolfe was educated at Washington and Lee Universities and also at Yale, where he received a PhD in American studies.

Tom Wolfe spent his early days as a Washington Post beat reporter, where his free-association, onomatopoetic style would later become the trademark of New Journalism. In books such as The Electric Koolaid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and The Bonfire of the Vanities, Wolfe delves into
...more
More about Tom Wolfe...
“...en route to the final destination, which was always to get trashed, wasted, hammered, crunked up, bombed, wrecked, sloshed, fried, flapjacked, fucked-up, or get plainlong fucked, laid, drained, get some ass, get some head, some skull, a lube job, get your oil changed, get some brown sugar, quiff, goo, pussy...” 12 likes
“Loneliness wasn't just a state of mind, was it? It was tactile. She could feel it. It was a sixth sense, not in some fanciful play of words, but physically. It hurt... it hurt like phagocytes devouring the white matter of her brain. It was merely that she had no friends. She didn't even have a sanctuary in which she could simply be alone.” 6 likes
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