I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
A Novel

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Synopsis

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 trump academic achievement every time.

As Charlotte encounters Dupont's privileged elite--her roommate, Beverly, a Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont's godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turk 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.

 

About Tom Wolfe

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Tom Wolfe is the author of a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. He lives in New York City.
 
Published November 9, 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 689 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for I Am Charlotte Simmons

The New York Times

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Tom Wolfe's new novel feels as if its author were merely going through the motions instead of really trying to capture the raucous carnival of American life.

Oct 29 2004 | Read Full Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel

The New York Times

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The heroine of Tom Wolfe's novel is shocked to discover that college students like dancing, beer and sex.

Nov 28 2004 | Read Full Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel

NPR

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I Am Charlotte Simmons, the latest novel from Tom Wolfe, depicts college as a hedonistic playground of non-stop drinking and rampant casual sex. The author traveled to universities across the country to research contemporary campus life. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Wolfe.

Nov 10 2004 | Read Full Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel

AV Club

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Many early readers of Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons have been openly disappointed with the book, probably because Wolfe normally...

Nov 22 2004 | Read Full Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel

New York Magazine

This time, he puts himself into the head of an 18-year-old coed, a sheltered Christian girl from the North Carolina mountains whose mother taught her to say “I am Charlotte Simmons, and I don’t hold with that” if anyone ever asks her to do something she does .

Nov 01 2013 | Read Full Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel

ReadySteadyBook

And Hoyt isn’t the only one with an interest in Charlotte: student reporter Adam Gellim is besotted from the first time he meets her, and Jojo Johansson, a campus basketball star with a desire to better himself, is also intrigued by her strong sense of morality and obvious intellect.

Nov 11 2004 | Read Full Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel

Ben Casnocha

This review is on I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe, an entertaining and thoroughly researched take on a bright, rural, innocent college freshman adapting to campus life.

Aug 11 2006 | Read Full Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel

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