Fat Books & Thin Women


30 Day Book Meme, Day 29
August 30, 2011, 5:17 pm
Filed under: 30 Day Book Meme | Tags: , , , ,

A book everyone hated but you liked:

Special note: today is Bajram, my favorite day of the year in Macedonia. Really, one of my two favorite days of the year here, since there are two Bajrams – this is Ramadan Bajram, the next one is Kurban Bajram. Yesterday was the last day of Ramazan (known elsewhere as Ramadan), and today my family and I woke up early to eat ruchek, lunch, a little past seven. This is the fourth and last time I am celebrating Bajram with them, and it’s sad to think that I’ll never again be pulled out of my house by my six-year-old host sister to eat baklava right after the sun is up.

This has nothing to do with the book I’m writing about today, but I wanted to set the baklava scene simply because there are not many opportunities when a grown woman has the chance to eat baklava for breakfast.

Signs that Tom Wolfe’s I am Charlotte Simmons is widely despised by reader and critic alike: I bought my copy off the remainder table. It won an award for “bad sex in fiction.” Even most Tom Wolfe fans refuse to acknowledge this book.

But me? I loved it. Sure, Charlotte Simmons can be frustratingly naïve and Wolfe sometimes strives too hard to take in the whole of a college campus (it is hard not to think, “This man read some articles about campus hook-up culture while he was writing”), but there’s something joyful to this novel’s taking in of every college experience it can. Wolfe’s characters and situations verge on caricature, but this is the pleasure in the book: Charlotte’s year at college is recognizable, but exaggerated enough that you want to read this novel in great gulps to find out just what the hell is going to happen to her and Wolfe’s cast next. I am Charlotte Simmons is the literary equivalent of a soap opera, and if you are like me you won’t have a hard time ignoring Wolfe’s underlying message about the perverted view of education many college students have in favor of this novel’s voyeuristic pleasures.

30 Day Book Meme:
Day 01 – The best book you read last year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than three times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favorite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people have read
Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favorite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time

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2 Comments

I really liked I Am Charlotte Simmons too. I’ve never understood why other people don’t like it.

Comment by Laura

It’s a weird book, coming from an extremely weird guy. I didn’t read it, but knowing Wolfe, I’m pretty sure it’s as awkward as it gets if you treat it with an ounce of serious. And Wolfe made a career out of taking himself seriously!

Comment by Benoît Lelièvre (@BenoitLelievre)




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