I like to think of Tom Wolfe doing his research at the University of Michigan, bar-crawling in his double-breasted suit.
Some reviews give this book a hard time about using stereotyped characters, but I think part of the point of the book is how college students stereotype themselves and put themselves into little boxes or roles. So the frat guy has to be an investment banker and the nerdy guy has to be a certain kind of intellectual. I think this idea is pretty clear when it comes to Jojo, the basketball player.
The book fizzled out strangely at the end. Charlotte's depression was weird, as was her coming out of it and the final epiloguey thing.