PRINT March 2001


Tom Wolfe

COMMANDING EASY BRAND RECOGNITION in his high-maintenance southern gentleman drag (white suit, patent pumps, and spats) and now pushing seventy, “America's maestro reporter/novelist” is still at it, tracking the zeitgeist in his retro getup. Marrying giddiness with cynicism, Tom Wolfe deploys the mannered showmanship of a circus ringmaster or a Robin Leach—and way too many ellipses . . .italics. . . and exclamation points! A photo of the man in full graces . . . the back of the book! As he jauntily steps forward (into the twenty-first century, we presume?) his smirk exudes defiant entitlement that brings to mind another man of the people via Yale . . . Dubya! and is just as gleefully reactionary.

If you think Hooking Up concerns what the pandering jacket copy describes as moral-free young people rubbing “moistened crevices and stiffened giblets together” before learning each other's

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