Thursday, May 28, 2009

If Only I Could "Unread" I Am Charlotte Simmons

Booking Through Thursday this week asks the flip side of last week's question (A Second First Time). This week the question is:
Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?
I'm sure if I thought about it very long, I would probably come up with at least half a dozen dogs that I would prefer to "unread." I'm going to go with the first one that flew into my mind, though, because I really don't think I can top it no matter how long I think about the question. Interestingly, I found this question over at C.B.'s blog where he chose Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities as the book he wished he had never opened. I don't have as low an opinion of that particular Wolfe book, but I find it kind of funny that my choice turns out to be another of Tom Wolfe's novels: I Am Charlotte Simmons.

I am not going to bother with much of a description of the novel's characters or plot. I'll just say that it is a pointless story about modern university life and it is peopled by some of the most despicable characters to ever come together in one book. The point is that there is no point to this novel. The only reason I kept reading, and this is a long book, is that I figured someone like Tom Wolfe just had to have something literary in mind and that it would click with me "any page now." Never happened and, when done, I realized I had just finished reading a poorly written piece of soft porn. The book is garbage - and I only wish I could get those wasted hours back. Tom Wolfe owes me big time.
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