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America's maestro reporter/novelist gives America an MRI at the dawn of a new age. In "Hooking Up", Wolfe ranges from coast to coast, chronicling everything from the sexual manners and mores of teenagers to fundamental changes in the way human beings now regard themselves--thanks to the hot new fields of genetics and neuroscience--to the inner workings of television's magazine-show sting operations.
Only yesterday boys and girls spoke of embracing and kissing (necking) as getting to first base. Second base was deep kissing, plus groping and fondling this and that. Third base was oral sex. Home plate was going all the way. That was yesterday. Here in the Year 2000 we can forget about necking. Today's girls and boys have never heard of anything that dainty. Today first base is deep kissing, now known as tonsil hockey, plus groping and fondling this and that. Second base is oral sex. Third base is going all the way. Home plate is being introduced by name.
And how rarely our hooked-up boys and girls are introduced by name -as Tom Wolfe has discovered from a survey of girls' File-o-Fax diaries, to cite but one of "Hooking Up's" displays of his famed reporting prowess. Wolfe ranges from coast to coast chronicling everything from the sexual manners and mores of teenagers... to fundamental changes in the way human beings now regard themselves thanks to the hot new field of genetics and neuroscience. . . to the inner workings of television's magazine-show sting operations.
Printed here in its entirety is "Ambush at Fort Bragg," a novella about sting TV in which Wolfe prefigured with eerie accuracy three cases of scandal and betrayal that would soon explode in the press. A second piece of fiction, "U. R. Here," the story of a New York artist who triumphs precisely because of his total lack of talent, gives us a case history preparing us for Wolfe's forecast ("My Three Stooges," "The Invisible Artist") of radical changes about to sweep the arts in America.
As an espresso after so much full-bodied twenty-first-century fare, we get a trip to Memory Mall. Reprinted here for the firsttime are Wolfe's two articles about "The New Yorke"r magazine and its editor, William Shawn, which ignited one of
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