Some punchlines just dress themselves
Before we get to the main course, let us savor this:
…says Tom Wolfe who has parlayed his white-suited eccentricity into permanent dottiness.
But here is the real issue with Wolfe; the impending release of this.
Dupont University–the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America’s youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition . . . Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.
As Charlotte encounters Dupont’s privileged elite–her roommate, Beverly, a fleshy, Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont’s godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turk of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the university’s “independent” newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock-obsessed campus–she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.
With his signature eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the ’00s. I Am Charlotte Simmons is the much-anticipated triumph of America’s master chronicler.
Let’s harken back to the days of A Man In Full, one of the most overstuffed crapulent books of the nineties. Hideously late to the party when it came to describing the real estate boom and bust, and worse when delving into black culture where it had all the “keepin’ it real” authenticity of listening to your grandfather eulogize Tupac, A Man In Full truly truly sucked. In fact it is the only book that I can ever remember throwing away and not donating or even putting in a recycling bin to be pulped (which would have been too good for it). After reading “gotcher back” approximately 3000 times, I was ready to smack Wolfe “upside his haid” with this doorstop of drivel. To read most reviews of the time, the saving grace of this dumpster liner was a scene of horse humping that had all the reviewers atwitter proving that we are a country in short supply of horse porn.
Now Wolfe is going to write about “sex, Cool, and kegs” and about “Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont’s godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects”.
The mind reels…the stomach heaves…the sphincter clenches.
Added: Favorite Wolfe anecdote…
The Wolfe-Mailer feud is by far the oldest and cattiest of the three. As far back as 1989, Mailer remarked: “In my mind, there is something silly about a man who wears a white suit all the time, especially in New York.”
Wolfe brushed off the sartorial attack, simply pointing out that “the lead dog is the one they always try to bite in the ass”. To which Mailer quickly responded: “It doesn’t mean you’re the top dog just because your ass is bleeding.”
Extra Bonus Added: I see that Roy has a healthy contempt for Wolfe too.