America's 'peerless observer [and] fearless satirist' takes on the university - from jocks to mutants, dormcest to tailgating - plus race, class, sex, and basketball. 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 ...
America's 'peerless observer [and] fearless satirist' takes on the university - from jocks to mutants, dormcest to tailgating - plus race, class, sex, and basketball. 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 freshman from Sparta, North Carolina (pop. 900), who has come here on full scholarship in full flight from her tobacco-chewing, beer-swilling high school classmates. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that Dupont is closer in spirit to Sodom than to Athens, and that sex, crank, 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; Jayjay 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 Millennium Mutants who run the university's 'independent' newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavour 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.
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My daughter needed this book for her literature class. She is not an avid reader so the size of this novel was bit daunting for her. She said she felt it started out kind of slow but by the end of the book, she had enjoyed it even though some of the story line seemed implausible. She is 18 and getting ready to start college so the story hit a note with her.
Aug 20, 2008
A Hard Book to Put Down
I thought this book quite accurately depicted the continual decline of American culture. Of course, one must believe American culture is declining to appreciate the books non-judgmental view of it. The book shows college life the way it is on most campuses, it leaves the opinions to the reader. The plot actively follows several characters whose stories are interwoven but who really only have a couple of similarities, namely vanity and a need to be accepted, even if it means sacrificing some of their principles to get it. The male characters seem to be able to stomach it, but Charlotte struggles with it and we find ourselves wondering exactly is going to happen to 'our girl.'
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