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Are You Charlotte Simmons?

All right, I downed my first ever Tom Wolfe novel (in about 2 1/2 months). It was . . . good. A bit cardboardish with the chioce of characters, but given that Wolfe is trying to paint a broad canvas of contemporary US collegiate life, I think we can overlook his less than Reubenesque characterizations. I don't want this to be a long review so I'll just say that EVERY high school junior and senior in America (probably Canada too) should be forced to read the consecutive chapters titled "To . . . Us" and "You Okay?". As Wolfe has Charlotte observe throughout the book human sexuality is reduced to "rutting" and a spirit of gnosticism is found in every molecular gap on the campus of the fictional DuPont U.
The lesson for those who take the supernatural as real should be this: one coat of moral fiber/teaching is not enough. Charlotte absentmindedly refers to the Christianity she was brought up with, but it is not enough to stop the deluge of the need to fit in. Catechize your children, parents! Men, you are more than your tumescent member. And ladies, c'mon, have some backbone and respect for yourself.


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