Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men” as Want to Read:
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  19,193 Ratings  ·  1,434 Reviews
In his startling and singular new short story collection, David Foster Wallace nudges at the boundaries of fiction with inimitable wit and seductive intelligence. Venturing inside minds and landscapes that are at once recognisable and utterly strange, these stories reaffirm Wallace's reputation as one of his generation's pre-eminent talents, expanding our ides and pleasure ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Abacus (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

David C. I just finished reading this book about three weeks ago, and read this entire story again to answer your question.

I'm of the opinion that the closing…more
I just finished reading this book about three weeks ago, and read this entire story again to answer your question.

I'm of the opinion that the closing 'hello' is a greeting, but not from the boy to what he is entering, but the opposite: a greeting from the world to the boy, ans in 'welcome.' The boy is changing into a man and the world is greeting him. I don't know if there is any way for you to capture this nuance with yet a third word, but even in English, it's something that has to be gathered from the context, so if you have to chose between the two my vote would be for the former.(less)
Nine Stories by J.D. SalingerThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeA Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'ConnorDubliners by James JoyceThe Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Collections of Short Stories
2,288 books — 1,690 voters
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo CalvinoHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
307 books — 474 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paul Bryant
Oct 27, 2010 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok

Given that most of my goodread friends love DFW with immoderate, alarming gusto, this requires some kind of explanation.

There’s a direct parallel between DFW and James Joyce. They both tended perpetually towards the encyclopaedic. They were utterly indifferent to audience expectation - even to the modernist, avantgardish audience they themselves created. Their main books are vast, oceanic, limitless affairs. They appeared to wish to use ev
To call these meanderings and sub-meanderings of a brilliant mind short stories, will be akin to putting a leash on DFW's creativity with the aid of conventional terminologies and thereby undervaluing the sheer inventiveness on display in this compelling collection.
In course of my limited venturings into DFW's literary landscapes I have arrived at one crucial inference. That to read DFW is to transgress the very act of simply reading through and discover a newer way to commune with his chain of
Apr 05, 2007 sarah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: English majors
Shelves: shortstories
Usually when some undergraduate English major brings up DFW to me at a keg party I tend auto-file them under "douchebag." Because, let's be honest people - Infinite Jest was profoundly not good. But everything that's irritating about Wallace's thoroughly self-aware postmodern writing style is somehow much more stomachable in smaller bites. Brief Interviews has its highs and lows - the quality is extremely variant between the pieces - but when it's on, it is ON. In fact, Brief Interviews holds mo ...more
Hannah Messler
Aug 20, 2009 Hannah Messler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's official: my heart is broken for David Foster Wallace. Anyone who thinks they don't like him is, I'm sorry, an ass. This shit is just not up for debate.
Oct 19, 2012 B0nnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The cover, someone wearing a paper bag, presents a sad, pathetic image. That - along with the title - implies elephant man ugliness, and I'm inclined to be sympathetic before I even start to read. It quickly becomes apparent that the hideousness does not refer to any exterior quality (sometimes there is a physical component to the ugliness, but that fact is secondary). These guys are creeps. The real problem is always within. The “Union of the Hideously and Improbably Deformed” services are not ...more
Stephen M
A Brief Word on the Famous Interview #20

I'm here to air my total ambivalence after having read the final interview (second to last story in the collection) and not knowing what at all to make of the story. Yes, it is very well written and DFW had certainly mastered the interview style by this point in the book. The way that the Hideous Men speak in each of the interviews is quite natural and sounds true from the stories that I've heard many guys tell w/r/t women, sexual encounters etc. And it is
Dec 25, 2012 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kindle, reviewed, 2014
I sold my first car just a little over a year ago. It was sort of a bittersweet thing for me because even though that rustbox was old and broken there was a comfortable familiarity there. I loved it in spite of itself. I venture to guess that if I were ever to get back into the driver’s seat (theoretically, of course—the car is long gone now), I’d be awash in nostalgic warmth and tenderness for it. Then, I’d start driving it and quickly remember that yes, the turn signal does sometimes blink spo ...more
Oct 24, 2016 Junta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hideous Men
Recommended to Junta by: Infinite Jest, Samadrita's review
Update while reading, October 24 2016:
It's selfish of me, but I'm enamored with his writing so much at the moment that I'm sharing a whole segment here. This is one of the 'Brief Interviews with Hideous Men' which has made a huge impression on me so far. (pp.20-22)
B.I. #11 06-96
'All right, I am, okay, yes, but hang on a second, okay? I need you to try and understand this. Okay? Look. I know I'm moody. I know I'm kind of withdrawn sometimes. I know I'm hard to be in this with, okay? All
MJ Nicholls
Jul 25, 2012 MJ Nicholls rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up to a fanboyish five. Brief Interviews is the strongest short story collection from the affectionately acronymously monikered DFW in this reviewer’s eyes—Girl With Curious Hair falling too far into a sort of rat-escaping-the-fictional-labyrinth obliqueness, and Oblivion supersized with unstoppable novella-length formal flops. Both flaws are in evidence here but are steeped in so much hip-shaking wonderment it’s heartless not too turn a blind eye. ‘Forever Overhead’ and ‘The D ...more

Recommended for: DFW fans, ppl who want to expand their vocabulary & their mind.
Shelf: Postmodernism,metafiction,American writer,short stories.

I have many DFW works on my shelf but i picked this particular book up as the cover really grabbed my attention: the male face; covered in burlap sack,reminded me of the Phantom from 'The Phantom of the Opera', but unlike the tortured,homicidal,musical genius whose passion,angelic voice & sad past,made him a tragic character, hence,easy to feel co
Franco  Santos
Tiene relatos excelentes y otros que son mera tentativa posmodernista efectista. En general, me gustó, en especial La persona deprimida (brillante de principio a fin), El suicidio como una especie de regalo (oscuro y muy poderoso) y todas las Entrevistas breves con hombres repulsivos (exceptuando la última: soporífera).

Tengo que agregar que de esta novela es muy improbable salir sin haber aprendido algo nuevo, o al menos sin conocerse mejor a uno mismo. El intelecto de Wallace es palpable en cad
Mar 23, 2009 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I just finished reading Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. This book is some kind of a literary masterpiece yeah. I just didn’t enjoy reading it that much.
I understand what this book is supposed to be, and it’s very eye-opening to note what he is doing/trying to do/succeeding to do in any one of these stories, but it is simply not enjoyable to read. It is rather like– as a child does in one of the earlier stories in this book, the only story I enjoyed– finding yourself forced to leap off of a h
Leo Robertson
EDIT: I still love this book, I just remembered though that I submitted a cover of this to that didn't end up getting used: it said "The Asshole Monologues." Come on, that's so good!! :D

Original review:

Don't want to dwell on this too much or personalise the review, only...
Regardless of what you think of his other work, or the types of books you like, you are a human living in the present who needs to READ THIS.

Actually I just checked and there are reviews giving this less th
Jul 16, 2008 Erikaaaa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erikaaaa by: Paul
If there are 12 things i appreciate in the world, i'm sure one of them is repetition for effect and i don't care if it's in music or in humor, anything. I'm not saying that's DFW's best element here, but it's done sooooo masterfully and it just works for me. I love tight and elegant prose, duh, but if you're going to be neurotic then just go all the way and DO IT and don't stop, keep going, it's so good and getting better.

From a linguistic view, yep, it's astounding. The subtleties of language t
Feb 03, 2017 Alessio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ritenuta dall'autore stesso la sua opera più inquietante, Brevi interviste con uomini schifosi è lo squallido e atroce catalogo di una società malata e cinica, composta da uomini falliti e disperati, all'interno della quale «stupro e masturbazione si beffano dell'amore romantico, e gli affetti di famiglia sono messi a confronto coi danni che recano» (Fernanda Pivano).
David Foster Wallace tesse abilmente le fila dei venti racconti della raccolta, mescolando numerosi registri stilistici e sfiancan
Jun 11, 2007 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted this on way back in 1999:

In all the reviews I read of David Foster Wallace’s recently published “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,” I haven’t read a discussion of generosity. (My motivation for searching through the articles is simple: I wanted a reviewer to validate my thoughts, and if none did, I wanted to express this idea of generosity and make it accessible to, like, set everything straight.) Reviewers of Mr. Wallace’s latest book often mention “sex” and “ali
Jun 02, 2011 Jenn(ifer) rated it it was ok
Ugh. Wow, this is just... bad. By page 230, I had had enough. The thing is, it's as if he decided he had to use every trick up his literary sleeve and instead of relying on the ingenuity and originality of his stories, he mucks it all up by trying too hard to be "unique." There are the brief interviews, which in and of themselves are interesting (saving this reviewer from having to give the author of one of my favorite books of the year one measly star). Then there are several short stories spri ...more
Sentimental Surrealist
David Foster Wallace may be my favorite author, but I have to admit he had his shortcomings: uneven short fiction. He never wrote a collection of short stories that has affected me on the same level as Infinite Jest or Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, although this one is his strongest to date. His main problem was that a few of his stories seem more exercises in cleverness than anything else: here, we have the infamous "Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko," an ill-advised attempt to give ...more
Jun 03, 2012 Corey rated it it was amazing
David Foster Wallace was a great writer. No two ways about that, it is so evident in his prose and in his stories that it does make you a little bit sad inside to know that you will never get the opportunity to meet this man. Yes, sometimes he gets a bit pretentious and self-important by hitting you over the head with the fact of his great-writer-ness. At some points the writing gets so esoteric and overly metaphorical that it ceases to make human sense or becomes extremely difficult to follow ( ...more
Dec 07, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story 'Forver Overhead' made me realize the one thing that I appreciate most about DFW. Much of his writing is executed with such exquisite, painstaking detail that it not only causes me to visualize the scenario more clearly, but often at the same time a particular scene will make me recall memories that were long ago misplaced. This story is about a thirteen-year-old boy who works up the courage to tackle that youthful right of passage of going off of the high dive for the first time. The ...more
"Soon, perhaps, respected & glossy high-art organs might even start inviting smartass little ironists to contemporize & miscegenate BC mythos; & all this pop irony would put a happy-face mask on a nation's terrible shamefaced hunger & need; translation, genuine information, would be allowed to lie, hidden & nourishing inside the wooden belly of parodic camp."

What else more is there to say about David Foster Wallace? This is Jelly Belly literature, and you just keep stuffing t
mark monday
Oct 21, 2010 mark monday rated it really liked it
a great introduction to the author, particularly for those readers who quiver in fear at the idea of Infinite Jest and A Supposedly Fun Thing. the language is unsurprisingly brilliant, the ideas at times playful and at other times fairly heavy, and the various portraits fascinating and often repulsive. wonderfully repulsive! men who engage in misandry are often interestingly self-flagellating yet defensive, and wallace is no exception. perhaps the only drawbacks are some forced jokiness and the ...more
Apr 25, 2012 Emanuela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sono più schifosi gli uomini che fanno outing nevrotico/psicotico scavando dentro di sè e giustificando i propri comportamenti o chi, invece, è impermeabile e refrattario, tutto ciò non gli appartiene e nemmeno lo sfiora?
Wallace non discrimina, semplicemente racconta quanto siamo "schifosi" o potremmo essere "schifosi"; complice il contesto.
Uno degli "stili" usati ricorda la ripetitività dei soggetti in campo, ossessiva come per le opere di Andy Wharol, più simile all'immagine della sedia elett
Nate D
There are several different, idiosyncratic kinds of things going on in Brief Interviews. Your bread and butter here are the (1) piercing views of interior monologue. Wallace has an unusual facility with voice and he puts to use here, as characters self-dissect and recriminate and justify in bottomless hall-of-mirrors sequences of self-reflection. These horror stories for the uncertain, for those who overthink. For those with anxiety that their proper outward actions might be self-satisfied, and ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Catie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013, audio
There were moments of absolute brilliance (Forever Overhead was my favorite). There were also moments when I would have done anything to get him to stop talking. And he does this completely ingenious thing where, by omitting the interview questions, he essentially turns you (the reader) into the interviewer. The questions are so obvious in relation to the answers that I found myself mentally supplying them during the pauses, which made me feel like I was trapped into participating in conversatio ...more
Ubik 2.0
May 24, 2016 Ubik 2.0 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-e-book
L’insostenibile schifezza dell’essere

Confrontata a “La ragazza coi capelli strani” questa selezione di racconti appare più compatta e omogenea sul tema di fondo, ma allo stesso tempo molto più frantumata e originale nella struttura narrativa che l’autore adotta, sia per costruire ogni singolo racconto sia per congegnare l’insieme della raccolta.

Ne risultano così “brani” o “frammenti” (più che racconti…) che creano folgoranti istantanee fin nel minimo dettaglio con minuziosa precisione entomologi
Tracy Reilly
Nov 19, 2013 Tracy Reilly rated it really liked it
I have to admit. I, on a whim, just googled "David Foster Wallace" and "autism", just to see if anyone else ever thought what I'm thinking. I hadn't researched or known a thing about him otherwise, other than his suicide.

I did find something. Lots of things, plus speeches, interviews, etc. Some reinforced the idea, some did not.

One thing for sure, the autism thing can't possibly sum up everything that is interesting about David Foster Wallace and his writings, or what I know of them so far. And,
فهد الفهد
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

أول قراءة لدايفد فوستر والاس والذي كنت قد حصلت على أغلب كتبه بلا قراءة مسبقة، وهو أمر نادر ولا يحدث إلا مع المؤلفين الذين تكون لهم سمعة كبيرة بحيث أقدر أنهم لن يخيبوني، أشهر أعمال والاس هي روايته (Infinite Jest)، والتي تجعلني ضخامتها – ألف صفحة - أؤجل قراءتها مراراً.

تصنف هذه المجموعة القصصية بأنها ما بعد حداثية، وقصصها تتفاوت من حيث جودتها، وأتفهم عدم ترجمتها بسبب لغتها والتي تصعب مهمة المترجم، حيث الجمل الطويلة وغياب الفواصل، هذا غير اللغة المباشرة والتي تجعلك
Sal Jenko
Terminata la lettura di "Brevi interviste con uomini schifosi" ti senti un po' come quando ti risvegli da uno di quei sogni in cui cerchi di correre ma i Grandi Adduttori, i Sartori e i Vasti Laterali non rispondono, allora ti controlli e ti accorgi di essere un topo della specie "Mus musculus" che corre nel labirinto neurale di David Foster Wallace mentre dietro di te fanno esplodere i ponti sinaptici finché non arriva lo chef Ferran Adrià che ti solleva per la coda, ti immerge nell'azoto liqui ...more
Oct 24, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-to
For years, I have been too intimidated to pick up anything by DFW. His reputation was too legendary. I'd heard horror stories about "Infinite Jest" and the sheer size of it was daunting. (That's what she said, but I digress) I finally found this on audio book, it seemed to be pretty short, so I figured I'd give it a whirl.

(Hideous) Man am I glad I did! DFW walked the thin line between smart and satirical and pretentious oh so well. This book touches on some horrible truths about how men view wom
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Infinite Jest – D...: Brief Interviews with Hideous Men 19 54 Apr 03, 2013 01:30PM  
Reading lists from classes taught by famous authors 2 81 Feb 28, 2013 04:33PM  
  • Forty Stories
  • Lost in the Funhouse
  • Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace
  • In Persuasion Nation
  • The Rainbow Stories
  • Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace
  • Hot Pink
  • The Angel Esmeralda
  • Wittgenstein's Mistress
  • Break It Down
  • Agapē Agape
  • Going for a Beer
  • The Age of Wire and String
  • Elegant Complexity: A Study of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest
  • Slow Learner: Early Stories
  • My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist
  • Stories in the Worst Way
  • Because They Wanted To
David Foster Wallace worked surprising turns on nearly everything: novels, journalism, vacation. His life was an information hunt, collecting hows and whys. "I received 500,000 discrete bits of information today," he once said, "of which maybe 25 are important. My job is to make some sense of it." He wanted to write "stuff about what it feels like to live. Instead of being a relief from what it fe ...more
More about David Foster Wallace...

Share This Book

“Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.” 326 likes
“And I was -- this is just how I was afraid you'd take it. I knew it, that you'd think this means you were right to be afraid all the time and never feel secure or trust me. I knew it'd be 'See, you're leaving after all when you promised you wouldn't.' I knew it but I'm trying to explain anyway, okay? And I know you probably won't understand this either, but --wait-- just try to listen and maybe absorb this, okay? Ready? Me leaving is not the confirmation of all your fears about me. It is not. It's because of them. Okay? Can you see that? It's your fear I can't take. It's your distrust and fear I've been trying to fight. And I can't anymore. I'm out of gas on it. If I loved you even a little less maybe I could take it. But this is killing me, this constant feeling that I am always scaring you and never making you feel secure. Can you see that?” 136 likes
More quotes…