Full disclosure, I was a student at Duke when this book came out (this book takes place at a very thinly veiled version of the school). Everyone was talking about it, and I actually read (tried to read actually) this for a class back in '05.
Having said that, I despise this book. This man wouldn't know how to write college age characters if one held a gun to his head and told him what to write. Forget the plot, this book fails at a basic level by not having believable characters. What Wolfe did have was an axe to grind and a point to make about "kids these days." Too bad he's so out of touch no one cares.