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I Am Charlotte Simmons Paperback – Sep 15 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 738 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Canada; Harper Perennial edition (Sept. 15 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006394051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006394051
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #372,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Joann Bidgood TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Nov. 30 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe it was just me, but I didn't particularly like this book. I didn't read too far into the book before I gave up, so maybe it gets better as you go along. It really is exactly as described and the part I DID read was mostly about sex among college students and how Charlotte Simmons handles it (the realization that most of the students are having sex). So, as far as the writing goes, it's good. I just got bored reading about university students and their sexual habits. Others might enjoy it more that I did, it was the subject matter more than the way the author wrote.
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By Deb on June 19 2013
Format: Paperback
I had heard such good things about this book and was anxious to read it. In fact, the first part of the book was actually very interesting and I could see tremendous potential...BUT...Tom Wolfe's attempt at "appropriating" the voice of a female freshman at college was laughable at best and horribly stereotypical and shallow at worst. As a female, I was honestly insulted by the insinuations and stereotypes rampant in the novel. There was nothing redeeming about this book and in the end, I was just glad it was over (I have to finish what I start; I suppose I was hoping it would end on a higher note than it did). If this book is actually indicative of the mindset of university-aged students in the U.S., that is a very sad commentary on society.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why do Americans have to go through this horrible class distinction? I loved the book, well-written, exciting, satirical etc. but can't get my head around this university thing in the USA. I went to university in England in the late 60s/early 70s and there was none of this weird class distinction. And people say English people are more class-conscious than Americans!!! Well, well, this is a great book but I despair of American society.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is very well written. The characters depicted and the nature of the setting succinctly captures college campus life where there is sex, rivalries, friendship, peer pressure, identity search, some education and sports. This highly entertaining book by a remarkable writer should be treated seriously. Also recommended: The USURPER AND OTHER STORIES, NIGHT FALL
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By Kayla Sinclair on April 1 2005
Format: Hardcover
An extremely enjoyabe novel if not earth shattering. Familiar territory, but still interesting and well written. Somewhat similar to the voice used in My Fractured Life, Story of My Life, and Prep. A fairly fast read and highly stimulating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ken Breadner on Sept. 8 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was my first foray into Wolfe, and I'm intrigued enough to read more of his work.
I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS is not without its flaws, and some of them are fairly glaring. For one thing, Wolfe could easily have shed 150-200 pages off the total page count. Charlotte's ruminations as events progress start to repeat and repeat and repeat...we get it already, Tom! The girl wants to be "cool"!
Other reviewers have questioned Wolfe's vernacular, which I think is missing the point in a social satire. Kids (and these are very much kids) may not say these exact phrases at your alma mater today, but that doesn't mean they aren't saying them elsewhere or that the meaning's in any way unclear. I can tell you from experience that the "F--k Patois" is universal.
The other not-necessarily-terrible-but-still-disconcerting thing is that Wolfe's plot meanders hither and yon: it's there, but this book is largely a collection of scenes rather than a flowing work. Minor nitpick: my God, this guy uses more italics than Cosmopolitan.
The good things about this novel are many, and largely offset the bad. The last point first: what scenes! They ooze reality and dramatic tension, and some of them are laugh-out-loud funny.
I found myself rooting for different characters throughout the novel (my interest in Charlotte deteriorated as her angst increased). Some of the lesser lights are very well drawn. I thought Jojo and Adam were particularly well crafted. Wolfe's also got a real turn of phrase. Most importantly, he's managed to nail down a piece of collegiate darkness and shove it out into the light for us to see...and any reader saying things can't be THAT bad is fooling himself.)
In short, I enjoyed this read almost in spite of myself.
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By L. YIP on April 5 2008
Format: Paperback
For a few short days, I found myself immersed in the world of Charlotte Simmons, which was akin to remembering my uni days, except focused and accented through a fun-house mirror. OBVIOUSLY, characters are drawn in gross parody, but it is a fine distillation of the most fundamental weaknesses. All the seven sins are on display for our delectation: Charlotte's screaming Pride, collegial Lust dripping from the pages, Envy purposefully courted, Greed (and beer) overflowing, intellectual Sloth, and academic Wrath. And while Charlotte's interior world can and does become tiresome reading, with its relentless self-focus, so too can be the self-talk of any real 18 y.o., particularly in the hothouse social atmosphere of college.

Wolfe's uses of the more colourful phrases are, I find, purposefully over-used, which turns their power in upon themselves. Sooner or later, the senses stop reeling, which is what all users of F*ck Patois learn when they finally discover that the words have lost all meaning. Wolfe draws a fine sketch of a stuttering, intellectual wreck when this happens.

In the end, "I am Charlotte Simmons" is a highly enjoyable read that delivers sometimes-uncomfortable, sometimes-hysterically funny insights that pack the wallop of a morality play. Should be on every frosh's reading list.
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