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Hooking Up Paperback – Oct 12 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (Oct. 12 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312420234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312420239
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #474,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
By the year 2000, the term "working class" had fallen into disuse in the United States, and "proletariat" was so obsolete it was known only to a few bitter old Marxist academics with wire hair sprouting out of their ears. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Wolfe's expose on Protestantism and its controling influence on the semi conductor industry in "Two Young Men Who Went West" is the tight, revealing, and fascinating prose that makes him a master of the printed word. Wolfe's observations appear tongue-in-cheek, but they reveal his deep respect for American culture and the Puritan work ethic--a thoughtful gift for those in the know.
It has always amazed this reviewer that most of America's best modern scientists seem evolutionary in their thinking--after pursuing careers in science where painstakingly close observation reveals absolute law every moment.
Wolfe has certainly turned a long-neglected stone. He's not the only recent author who has noticed this influence on western thought.
Simon Winchester in "The Professor and the Madman" notes that the Oxford English Dictionary, a work whose first draft took 75 years to complete and still a work in progress, was originally compiled to introduce the world to Christianity. Because the authors (many volunteers which include William Minor, the book's protagonist) attributed England's greatness to God's blessing on industry--the original purpose of all previous English dictionaries. The OED's set out to offer world a blueprint for Protestant culture by introducting the world to the English language. Central to Protestant thought is the cultural mandate: "Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth." This is the basis of Puritan action and missionary work.
How can the modern scientist grope for answers in a world of chance? To whom does he attribute his discoveries?
Wolfe responds: "Fortuitous...[in italics] well! How Josiah Grinnell, up on the plains of Heaven, must have laughed over that!" (p 26)
Savor the line; enjoy the book.
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Format: Paperback
HOOKING UP is an anthology of some of Tom Wolfe's famous satirical, often nasty, but humorous takes on American society, especially the literary world. He also compares the beginning of the "American" millennium to that of four decades ago. Mr. Wolfe leaves no doubt what he feels and what he believes most of the world thinks of the current American Revolution that centers on tremendous technological progress in genetics, computers, and the neurosciences.
The title story is very entertaining and if the reader has a teen or someone in their young twenties ask them about its accuracy. The other twelve short story-commentaries are all enjoyable though Mr. Wolfe's fans have read some of them already. (They reminded me of some of McCrea's works-think his CHILDREN'S CORNER or his BARK OF THE DOGWOOD). The novella forecasts TV scandals and though it does not quite hook the reader beyond second base (remember this reviewer is from the old school) quite like the rest of Mr. Wolfe's stinging commentaries, the tale seems accurately plausible. Fans of Mr. Wolfe will round the bases (old school) with HOOKING UP.
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By Z. Blume on Feb. 25 2004
Format: Paperback
I've previously enjoyed The Right Stuff and Wolfe's two novels, but I had never read any of his essays or short stories. "Hooking Up" was an excellent, accessible introduction into these genres. The essays in the book cover a range of topics about modern America including its sexual mores, the rise of technology, art and contemporary novels. He makes many great arguments for the greatness and unique character of America and uses his intelligent wit, knowledge of philosophy and historical facts to make strong cases. His writing, as always, is excellent and the stories were insightful. This collection also includes a novella that is both fun and concise (not always Wolfe's strong suit). I think this is a fabulous book for Wolfe fans like myself, but also good for people who want a quick introduction to him without committing to an 800 page novel. Further, it would be great reading for people interested in American Studies and provides a good starting point for lengthy debates. This is a very good book and well worth purchasing.
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By JanSobieski on July 7 2003
Format: Paperback
Though not as good as Bonfire of the Vanities. It makes for an interesting read and is well worth the effort. It is short and sweet.
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Format: Paperback
Wolfe's collection 'Hooking Up' is described as a book that talks about sex, courtship, and the 'hooking up' of males and females in today's society. It's not exactly that. What it is, is a collection of essays and fiction collected by Wolfe and thrown together. Nothing wrong with that, but I want to make sure no one is fooled like I was. That being said, it is a pretty good collection of work. It's divided into five parts.
Part 1 (Hooking Up) contains the title essay, one which deals with sex and courtship, then and now. Wolfe doesn't deliver anything new or shocking here.
Part 2 (The Human Beast) contains 3 essays. The first deals with the rise of Pentium and the silicon revolution. Wolfe's skill as a journalist is evident here, but the reading is a bit slow. Both of the other essays deal with the digital revolution. It's a topic Wolfe can write about, but not one that is enjoyable to read.
Part 3 (Vita Robusta, Ars Anorexica) contains four essays. My favorite piece that I've read by Wolfe is "My Three Stooges." Wolfe uses his wit to poke fun at Updike, Mailer, and John Irving, who attacked Wolfe's _A Man in Full_ when it was published. It's a great essay, and you see Wolfe's talents in full. I loved it. There is also his essay "The Invisible Artist" which contains Wolfe's thought on 'modern art' and the sculptor who designed the sculpture at the Viet Nam Memorial and other works we all recognize, but don't know the artist (and even, as Wolfe points out, may not consider the works art).
The next section contains Wolfe's novells "Ambush at Fort Bragg", which is the only fiction in the collection, but it's a good story.
The final section is 'The New Yorker Affair' in which Wolfe spoofed the New Yorker by doing a profile of their editor. It's a great section.
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