Book Review — ‘I am Charlotte Simmons‘ by Tom Wolfe

Posted by Books Above the Bend on

Why We Picked It

  • It’s Tom Wolfe…that’s enough for us!
  • In a series of unrelated, but timely events, we purchased a copy of the book at an early spring yard sale several months ago and recently set it out on our nightstand while moving a few books around. Lo-and-behold, the next week, we learned of Tom Wolfe’s untimely passing literally upon entering the bedroom and looked up to find the book staring at us…
  • Tom Wolfe has been a formative influence to generations of readers. Who could pass up a chance to see what he thought about the much talked about Millenials
Cover art for ‘I am Charlotte Simmons’

What We Thought

  • Normally we get lost in whatever Mr. Wolfe writes, but this one had us checking our progress. It is long — over 600 pages
  • You can tell he did his homework — the character sketches are fantastic
  • It left us thinking about how a reader’s perception of Tom Wolfe’s works is highly dependent upon what generation he or she represents. You either lived and experienced the moment; lived and didn’t directly experience the moment; or are reading about something you may have heard about in the news or a history book
  • Having lived through the time period ourselves, being able to relate to the mannerisms, language and cultural references at times made the book feel repetitive and contrived
  • We will be reading The Bonfire of the Vanities and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test in short order, to replace I am Charlotte Simmons as the last work we have in our minds when we hear Tom Wolfe’s name


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