by Sukey HowardFebruary, 2005
A Wolfe at the door
I Am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe's third novel, may not have gotten the raves that his first two did, but it's still Wolfe and it still fascinates, keeping you locked into the story from start to finish and changing the way you see our world. Add Dylan Baker's unswervingly satisfying portrayal of all the characters, their many regional accents and singular styles of late adolescent attitude, and you have 31 hours of entertainment and insight. Charlotte Simmons, a scholarship student from a hamlet in the North Carolina mountains, arrives at Dupont (think Duke) University without a clue, an academic achiever as innocent as the proverbial lamb on the way to slaughter. As you find out how she fares in the charged halls of coed dorms and debauched, predatory frat parties, you'll get a devastating Wolfian view of campus sex, campus speak and campus survival. It may make many of us worry about those multi-thousand dollar tuitions we're shelling out.