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Gifts for Grads




Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (Oct. 12 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312420234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312420239
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #550,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
I've been a Tom Wolfe fan for more than 30 years and have always been frustrated by the leisurely pace of his literary production. His major works have been few, and he allowed more than a decade to pass between Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full, the tantalizing and highly successful forays into fiction that have marked the maturation of his career. Apparently Wolfe's publishers, watching financial opportunity dribble away under the weight of writer's block, have been frustrated too, because "Hooking Up" gives the impression that the author may have compiled it under duress. The book is largely a collection of previously published pieces, some of them very old, patched together with spicy bits of new turn-of-the-millennium type commentary. I tried my best to discern some pattern to the choice of articles that were included, or to the order in which they were presented, but I can see little. There's one piece of short fiction, written very much in the style of his novels, and which is vintage Wolfe, but which loses force thrown in this way as an out-of-context fragment. The rest of the pieces are non-fiction and cover a crazy-quilt of subjects, many of them arcane. However, part of the greatness of Tom Wolfe is that he's never boring, imbuing as he does the most mundane material with intensity, insight and humor. In one essay, for example, he tells the story Edward O. Wilson, an introvert who devoted his early life to the scientific study of ants and went on from there to become a famous (among academics) and highly controversial proponent of biological determinism. In a similar nerdy-heroic vein, other republished essays focus on scientists and sixties technology wizards, foreshadowing Michael Lewis 30 years later in both style and content.Read more ›
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