Charlotte Simmons, the genius, but oh so naive, graduate of a backwoods North Carolina high school, is awarded a full scholarship to prestigious Dupont University in Pennsylvania. With the assurance of her high school mentor, Miss Pennington, and the backing of her uneducated parents, Charlotte arrives on the Dupont campus starry-eyed. Her ambitions for a successful college career are boundless.
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But then she meets Beverly, her rich and worldly roommate from the Boston area, and college life becomes much different from Charlotte's high-minded expectations. She soon becomes involved in the life of cutting classes, going to frat parties, buying designer jeans, wearing suggestive clothing, and drinking to excess. All the while, she feels lonely for some real friends and continues to remind herself she is above the fray because she is so intelligent. When frat guy Hoyt Thorpe shows an interest in her, she allows him to "deflower" her in a most embarrassingly public way during a fraternity event. This is the lowest point in Charlotte's life in her mind's eye, and she struggles with the humiliation for days, going so far as to ignore what few friends she has and cutting classes and turning in hastily written assignments which cause her grades to plummet. It becomes a real challenge for Charlotte to remind herself that she is special--a gifted mind. She even finds herself unable to sympathize with Adam,the one friend who helped her avoid going into a deep depression because of her humiliation.
As all this unfolds, Charlotte also becomes a sort of mentor to campus athletic star JoJo Johanssen, thus helping him escape the possibility of being removed from the basketball team because of his involvement in a cheating scandal.
The review of this Book prepared by Paula J. Bard
Charlotte Simmons is a young girl, brilliant but poor, from the mountains of North Carolina who wins a scholarship to a prestigious northeast university. She thinks she knows who she is. The problem is, that she keeps judging herself by what she is afraid that other people think, even people she does not like nor value.
She is shocked to discover that all the worldly wise rich students are just as rude and crude, if not more so, than the hillbillys she despised back home. She tries at first to enjoy the life of the mind, which she does value and feels is part of the definition of who she is. Unfortunately, she soon gets sidetracked and becomes involved with a charming but amoral fraternity boy. Things go from bad to worse, with alcohol, sex, and inferior grades following.
Tom Wolfe uses her eyes to survey the current college culture, and what we see is not pretty.
The review of this Book prepared by Dixie Dodd
Charlotte Simmons a genius smalltown girl going to a big college, not knowing what exactly was going to happen. When at Dupont (her college of choice) she learns of things that her age group is involved in that she wouldn't even imagine. There is sex, drugs, alcohol and of course peer pressure. She gets an "experienced" roommate named Beverley who pushes her into things that she might not of done. Charlotte does things that goes against her beliefs, such as drinking. She loses her virginity in the worst even public way with a frat boy at a frat party. She meets one true friend and that is all. This book is about college life on how it is today and how different types of people cope with it. There is Charlotte; the naive virgin, Hoyt; the stupid frat boy, Adam; who wants to be noticed, Beverley; who cannot get enough of herself and JoJo; a star athlete that Charlotte turns around dramatically education wise.
The review of this Book prepared by Samantha Faber