Tom Wolfe's third novel,
I Am Charlotte Simmons, seems well on the way to the success of his first two, The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) and A Man in Full (1998). His first, Bonfire, was on PW's hardcover charts for 55 weeks; his second bestseller was on for 20 weeks. Its shorter tenure is an indication of the trend that still continues—the shrinkage of the number of weeks authors enjoy on the national charts (unless your name is Dan Brown). Wolfe's earlier novels made it to #1—Bonfire in its 11th week, a position he then maintained for eight weeks, whileMan in Full occupied the lead spot for the first nine weeks of its hardcover tenure. Wolfe is still trying to pass London Bridges for that coveted spot. FSG launched Charlotte Simmons with a 1.5-million—copy first printing. Bonfire enjoyed cloth sales of about 850,000 in its first two years of publication and Man in Full, which had a 1.2-million first printing, has sold about 1.4 million copies in hardcover.