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 god-like 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 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.
©2004 Tom Wolfe; (P)2004 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"Like everything Wolfe writes, I Am Charlotte Simmons grabs your interest at the outset and saps the desire to do anything else until you finish." (The New York Times Book Review)
"The book is brilliant, wicked, true, and, like everything Wolfe writes, thematically coherent, cunningly well plotted, and delightfully told." (Atlantic Monthly)
I am no book critic and I have never written a review before but I felt compelled to in this case. This audible book is fabulous. There's nothing particularly original about the topic: college, sex, jocks, growing up. But Wolfe's descriptions are exceptional. In addition, the narrator(s) has a remarkable range of voices for the characters used. It brings a level of clarity you won't get with the written version. I've listened to a lot of audible books, but this is truly one of the best.
I purchased the abridged version via ITUNES and found it to be very disconnected. Important segments ended up truncated and the book had essentially no ending. Since I am a big Tom Wolfe fan, I went to B&N to see if the book had been fairly represented. The gaps then became apparent. I ended up buying the unabridged version and now all is well!
I didn't realize I was listening to an abridged story although I was questioning certain holes in the narrative. By the time I figured it out, I was really ready to be done with these characters. Maybe the unabridged version would have been better, but I can't imagine spending 31 hours with this book. I simply didn't like anyone enough, especially the main character.
As Tom Wolfe says in an interview following the book, this is the first novel where his main character is a female. I was perplexed by the other customer reviewer who called this a book about jocks and geeks. I enjoyed the story, but found it to be a disturbing tale about what higher education has become and what it can do to women. This is the story of how Charlotte Simmons becomes someone else. To say who she becomes would give away the very clever ending of the book.
Tom Wolfe remains a shrewd critic of American social mannerisms. I laughed and cringed. Don't miss it, but don't plan to play it on the car radio with those who might be offended by what Wolfe calls the f__ patois.
Always strange how "one man's meat is another man's poison" - This is my favorite kind of audio book, one that follows delightful characters through a story that just goes and goes and goes. I was hooked within the first five or ten minutes. Charlotte in college brought back my own experiences and then some - not the popular Charlotte part, but the Charlotte who will stand in a line, any line, just to appear to have some purpose to be at a party when she doesn't know anyone or "what to do." For me these were the kinds of charactors that lingered in my mind long after the book was finished. For me this book was just one long great listen.
I must have unrealistic expectations based on other reviews I've seen because this book is boring. The story is predictable and in my opinion follows the typical stereotypes of jocks and geeks we've seen over and over.
When I heard that the author spent months visiting college towns all over the country to get into the mindset of young students, I couldn't believe this book was the result of such intense research. I cringe out of embarrassment that the author thinks he captured the feelings and behaviors of an 18 year old.
Don't read this one unless you are a die hard Tom Wolfe fan. It is Wolfe at his worst (or best if you're a fan).
The reader was good. He's the only reason this one gets even a single star in my book.
I have been an audible member sinc 2001. Fiction is my preferance. A good narrator can make or break any book
I enjoyed this book mostly because of the narrator. The topic of the book is nothing out of the norm. I will caution that the language is intence for sotry purpose but as an adult it got old very fast. I am not sure I could have listen too the unabridged version of this book because of the language.
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