While I think that this book is a satire on the attitudes and activities of college students as told by an experience author, I believe it falls very short of engaging the audience. The characters were not likable, except perhaps Jojo, who seemingly turned his life around. I found myself straining to get through the almost 700 pages of redundancy. While I wanted to feel for Charlotte as she dealt with depression and date rape, which are certainly important issues facing college students today, I just couldn’t! It’s almost as if her character developed at some point before the incident with Hoyt that was never communicated to the reader.
Also, if I had to read the words “concupiscent” or any of the “big” words Mr. Wolfe threw at us many times in the book again, I would have pulled my hair out. And, we get that Charlotte speaks with a Southern accent. Explaining how she speaks (ex. dee-ud) is not necessary and is fairly insulting.
The only positive thing I can say about the book is that it does portray fraternity parties in a realistic way; however, that did not make me want to keep reading it! It was almost painful to remember how silly it all was.
His previous works are so much better! Hi, I am Tom Wolfe, and I can write without an editor now that I am old.