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5.0 out of 5 stars Protestantism...more than a semi influence on US history.
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...
Published on Dec 21 2000 by Saharat

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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag
This reviewer has read much of Wolfe's work beginning with Kandy Kolored and continuing to the present volume. He has frequently been awed and highly entertained with much of TW's output. The book under discussion, however,is not one of his better efforts.
Maybe things started to go wrong with the physical appearance of the book. The cover is OK but the nearly...
Published on Nov. 11 2001


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3.0 out of 5 stars Re-hashed Wolfe, Nov. 29 2000
This review is from: Hooking Up (Hardcover)
13 of the 14 short stories contained in "Hooking Up" have been previously published, making this collection for novice Wolfe readers a must. "Ambush at Fort Bragg" is magnificent. But the only new essay in the collection reads flat, and is not in the league of "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," and "Bonfire of the Vanities."
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4.0 out of 5 stars The American Century, Nov. 28 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hooking Up (Hardcover)
Mr. Wolfe's essays in "Hooking Up" address the astonishing, vibrant, and varied landscape of the richest, most powerful, and most energized nation in the world.
His satire bombards many targets: wealth, sex, art, The New Yorker, and fashion. Spurred by his recent monetary success with a "Man in Full," he even takes revenge upon the hallowed trinity of Mailer, Updike, and Irving.
Mr. Wolfe brilliantly targets (yet again) the total unimportance of academic criticism and modern art to the American century. Most interestingly, he delves into the ongoing quest to understand the human genetic code. As always, his satire and wit mask a respect for hard work, common people, and moral behavior.
A very nice picture of the ongoing American saga.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Up, Nov. 16 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hooking Up (Hardcover)
This book has a lot of good stuff in it. My favorite observation of Wolfe's, though, is that for poetry to be acceptable in literary circles these days, it has to be obscure, oblique, and hard to understand. Poets are upset these days that they aren't famous like Robert Frost was. Well, that's why. Wolfe is refreshing, to say the least.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He is the best, Nov. 7 2000
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This review is from: Hooking Up (Hardcover)
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. 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.

Harriet Klausner
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tragically unhip, Nov. 5 2000
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This review is from: Hooking Up (Hardcover)
One of the greatest tragedies of contemporary letters has been the way in which Tom Wolfe has lost his veneer of cool over the last thirty years, as he's become not only a member but a celebrant of the Establishment he once observed cynically from the sidelines. There's a glimpse of what made Wolfe the most important satirist of his generation in his splendidly funny profile of William Shawn, "Tiny Mummies!," but that was written over a generation ago.
Most of his more recent pieces in this collection show instead how deeply out of it he remains today. "In the Land of Rococo Marxists" is almost an embarrassment: Wolfe here fulminates against academic faddishness, but the fads he singles out for scorn were relevant twenty years ago. He seems oblivious to the fact that Derrida has been largely passé for years--it's like complaining about contemporary music and heaping particular vitriol on the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. The response to his critics (John Irving, John Updike, and Norman Mailer) seems similarly out to lunch: he attacks them for qualities they don;t even possess, and seems to negelect how similar they are to him in their fictional styles. It's sad to see someone who once made such a name for himself as being positioned on the cutting edge still attempt to claim that position, but wind up instead seeming blithely unhip.
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4.0 out of 5 stars not bad, but a bit whiny, Nov. 5 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hooking Up (Hardcover)
Most of the essays here are entertaining and often thought provoking. Wolfe has a keen eye for many aspects of American life.
I can not give it 5 stars, though. For someone who makes his living observing others Mr. Wolfe's skin is thin when he is put under the microscope himself. His disdain for Updike is ridiculous when one considers Updike's fiction is a graceful Michael Jordan flying dunk and Wolfe's is still based on descriptions of sounds and accents being spelled out in ALL CAP phonetics on every other page. This collection would have been better if he kept his own personal vendettas out, and stuck with what he does best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good, Oct. 31 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hooking Up (Audio CD)
I'd read a lot of these pieces in their original magazine form. Some of them have been updated, and I enjoyed reading the updates (the piece on Robert Noyce and Intel has been updated since its 1983 publication in "Esquire"). Some had been published before that I had NOT read. I'd been dying to read the piece on the "New Yorker" after reading ABOUT it. And I really loved it!! The "New Yorker" is so revered, it's delightful to see Wolfe give it some well-deserved and high-spirited criticism. And then some pieces are published here for the first time (I loved the "Rococo Marxism" piece.) "My Three Stooges" does smack a bit of "me thinketh thou doth protest too much", because Updike, Mailer and Irving had a point. (A MAN IN FULL was a flawed novel). But they are more deserving of Wolfe's criticsim than he is of theirs. I didn't need to read "Ambush at For Bragg" again, having read it in "Rolling Stone." But the "re-runs" were worth having, if it meant having the new and unread stuff. Wolfe is one of the greatest things we've got going in the writing world, and proof of that fact are in these pages.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I just don't think he's that original., Aug. 29 2003
By 
Pancho Lefty "Butcher of meats, baker of brea... (Lincoln, NE, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hooking Up (Audio Cassette)
Of Tom Wolfe, I've read thus far: Hooking Up, A Man in Full, and Bonfire of the Vanities -- but I think I'm done. His "observations" -- and his capacity for observation is the very quality for which so many reviewers are lamentably insistent upon praising him - evince, at best, a rudimentary understanding of modern culture, and most of his readers under 40 know it; or at least those who haven't been [swayed] by his reputation (though that, too, is waning). Bonfire was hardly of the earth-shattering importance with which so many ebullient reviewers infused it, and continue, in reviewing other novels, to offhandedly proliferate; A Man in Full was quite a lot worse, particularly the parts where Wolfe felt obliged to demonstrate his "keen ear" for the African American argot; and now he's gone and proven himself a pontificating windbag. One is actually embarrassed (the sort of vicarious embarrassment one feels violated for having been forced to experience) when he musters the effrontery to upbraid Updike, Irving and Mailer for their unanimous dislike of his meandering, clumsy novel with its contrived dialogue and characters and its idiosyncratic plotline, which ironically might not have been so utterly bereft of charm in Irving's hands.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wolfe's an 18-k Renaissance man, March 24 2003
By 
Far Lefkas (Balto.-WDC metro area) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hooking Up (Paperback)
Back in the 1970s, Wolfe spoke @our school & in his 3-piece yellow suit proposed a most ludicrous notion: that the great cultural revolution that we all thought was happening back then would really occur 30 years hence, when the spoiled college kids & Vietnam vets & blue collar types squared off. But the New Journalism puzzled me, & a year later I'd left grad school for a less-than-min wage orderly job.
That time Wolfe spoke of, chronologically anyway, is now. Of course, tastes've changed, & blue collars've been pretty much dismissed by powerbrokers. Now have a band of 70s-style spoiled rich kids (Bush et al.) playing war, something they evidently missed out on back when the domino theory was applied to nations & not to corporate sponsors. On the other side we have... a band of 70s-style spoiled rich kids (neo-feminists & Marxophiles)... playing...war?
Well, turns out they all coulda taken a lesson from Robert Noyce, the hero of Tom Wolfe's "Two Young Men Who Went West," in his recent collection "Hooking Up." Wolfe weaves a mesmerizing parallel betw. the Congregationalist founder of Grinnell, IA, Josiah Grinnell, & Noyce, one of its star 20th century citizens & inventor of the integrated circuit.
Wolfe's description of Noyce's anti-hierarchy business approach @Fairchild Semiconductor in what became Silicon Valley parallels Grinnell's demand of pastor-as-teacher, not leader. What Wolfe calls the feudal approach to business "back East" is more firmly entrenched now than at the dawn of the semiconductor. Wolfe didn't & didn't have to conclude that although we've welcomed the integrated circuit & microprocessor into our culture, we've locked out the spirit of equality that was home to Robert Noyce. (Want proof? how many idiotic motivational seminars has your executive staff ordered this year? How many morale-boosting pep rallies? How many touchy-feely bake-off sessions?)
Otherwise, Tom Wolfe seems remarkably orthodox in his cultural persuasion: he likes the whole biology-is-destiny concept (a.k.a. sociobiology) & almost appears to be jockeying for a pole positon in the "right" stuff corner with Bill Kristol & cricket Lynne Cheney. Maybe most of the folks that read him are also; otherwise, they might claim that they have their own Three Stooges (George, Dick, & Don). Personally, I'd love to see Wolfe take on some narrower, more intense targets, like Sartre's theory of practical ensembles.
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Hooking Up
Hooking Up by Tom Wolfe (Paperback - Oct. 12 2001)
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