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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

3.6 (724 )
5 star
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Overall
3.6 (194 )
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Story
4.1 (187 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Joel Overland Park, KS, USA 12-23-04
    Joel Overland Park, KS, USA 12-23-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Charlotte Didn't Learn a Dang Thing in College"

    If you can get past the language in the book (which is unfortunately accurate for today's universities), you get a decent insight to college today. Yes, the characters are over the top representing the extreme of each category (frat boy, jock, vain intellectual, left-wing professor). But the story is well written and riveting.

    I thought that it was also well read, with the right ambiance fitting each 'scene' in the book.

    In the end though, I was disappointed in Charlotte. She didn't learn a dang thing...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Ironton, MO, USA 06-03-08
    Susan Ironton, MO, USA 06-03-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I am Charlotte Simmons (Unabridged)"

    I found this audiobook insulting in that the "f..." word was used frequently for the characters (teenagers)to make a point. This is not necessary and I would not recommend the story to anyone based on this type of language. Should the author had changed this to other ways of communicating his/her ideas that would be great. I really do not feel that I benefited from what I did hear. I feel I should be given another credit for another book as I wasted my time and cds.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Charlotte, NC, USA 06-12-05
    Martha Charlotte, NC, USA 06-12-05
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    "I'm scared..."

    If this is an accurate depiction of college life today, remind me in a year when my son graduates from high school to save my tuition money and encourage him to find a trade! This is scary stuff! Never mind the horrendous language. I listened to this because my book club selected it, but I can't in good conscious recommend it to others. Call me a prude, but I found much of it offensive. Please tell me there is more to college life than what I found in this book!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda 05-29-05
    Melinda 05-29-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    "I Am Charlotte Simmons"

    This is an intelligent, witty and often painful account of the coming of age of a naive girl entering college. On a grander scale it speaks to the decaying of the American university scene.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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