September 21st, 2005



I just finished reading Tom Wolfe's "I Am Charlotte Simmons" and was intrigued to find that it has almost the exact same plot as Brett Easton Ellis' "Rules of Attraction" - right down to the drunken rape/not rape that is the story's centerpiece.

One interesting distinction is that Ellis - who actually lived through the events he described - looks at the rampant drug use and sex of his collegians with disdain, while Wolfe, who just looks in from the outside seems to admire the bad boys and girls.

Far more interesting to me though is why both authors seem to define the ultimate college experience as an event that is clearly date rape - and yet in both cases have the protaganist getting over the experience in a few weeks, never filing charges and, if anything, becoming stronger from the experience.

Is date rape such an iconic image now that authors feel it has to be in book on college life? Or do the authors view violation as the natural punishment for a smart girl who chooses to drink and express her sexuality.

Is it cliche, or do these guys really, really hate women?