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I Am Charlotte Simmons | [Tom Wolfe]

I Am Charlotte Simmons

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, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.
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Publisher's Summary

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, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust 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 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

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Fiction (unabridged), 2005

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.1 (37 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Leslie kent, WA, USA 12-19-04
    Leslie kent, WA, USA 12-19-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Am Charlotte Simmons"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DAVID HENRY MANDLE 01-10-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A disappointment! Avoid the abridged version!!"

    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!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Great Barrington, MA, USA 10-23-08
    Lisa Great Barrington, MA, USA 10-23-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "chose abridged by accident..."

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Petersham, MA, United States 01-15-06
    Ellen Petersham, MA, United States 01-15-06 Member Since 2002
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    "Classic Tom Wolfe"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet S. Bessemer Reno, Nevada 09-20-05
    Janet S. Bessemer Reno, Nevada 09-20-05 Member Since 2004
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    "What's not to love?"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen vista, CA, USA 01-30-05
    Helen vista, CA, USA 01-30-05
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    "Too much hype"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CarlB Torrance, CA USA 02-02-06
    CarlB Torrance, CA USA 02-02-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I am Charlotte Simmons"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Topsfield, MA, United States 12-30-04
    Linda Topsfield, MA, United States 12-30-04 Member Since 2001

    I have been an audible member sinc 2001. Fiction is my preferance. A good narrator can make or break any book

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I enjoyed this 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.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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