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Preview — Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
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i think it is time to write a proper review for this book, as it is one of my all-time favorites and deserves way more than two words. back when i was a junior in college, i was at the nyu bookstore, trying to sell back some textbooks before going away for winter break. the person in line in front of me was trying to sell back infinite jest (where was i when this class was being offered?? ) and of course, they werent taking it back because nyu is a stingy fucking school. she turned a ...more
As I've already alluded to and partially instantiated in a few scattered places around GoodReads, I feel that I read this book at the right time. The contingent particulars which culminated as the ...more
JUDGE: Mr Wise, you appear before the court today on the charge of failing to adore Infinite Jest, an act in gross and flagrant violation of basic Goodreads standards of decency. How do you plead?
WARWICK: Well...I mean presumably this kind of thing is all subjective opinion, so—
PROSECUTOR: Let the record show that the defendant utterly fails to deny his foul sin.
WARWICK: Hang on—
JUDGE: So noted. If found ...more
Know what they say about novels such as Infinite Jest: Don’t seek Perfection or Pleasure but rather seek the Infinite Possibilities.
I have a lot to say about this book but before that there’s a little I don’t want to say about it. Here it is:
This book is never ending.
It bored me at times too.
Some of the end notes were annoying.
I read many other books when I was supposed to read this book.
Whenever somebody asked me what IJ was all about, I was unable to come up with a clear-cut answer.
I skipped f ...more
“Sometimes excess isn’t enough.” –some anonymous Springfield reader
The Years of Humble Beginnings
A couple years ago, somehow I stumbled on this site and realized, very quickly, what a tremendous opportunity it presented. A chance to catalog my library my way. How nice for me. Even better, a chance to rate books, the ones I loved and the ones I liked less. Oh. Oh! And there were people here, names that kept popping up when I read reviews of books I’d loved. So I did what I imagined any intell...more
You're listening to Radio KCRCR, "Tell Me What You Really Think", where we listen to the critics and you talk back. That's if there's any time left after I finish my rant. Hehe.
A lot of listeners ask me about my namesake. What about that other Ian Graye, you say. The one on GoodReads. What do you think of him? And what did you think of his recent review of David Foster Wallace's magnum opus?
Well, let me reassure you: that other Ian Graye is ...more
And Lo, for the Earth was empty of form, and void.Real life is a pain. Real life is a bitch. Real life slumps you together from a squiggly mess and shoots you out to a cold and unfeeling world, empty in mind and soul. So you scrounge around for meaning, whatever fulfills your personal definition of said meaning, eyes gaping for that next slice of indomitable thrills and chills, mouth pincering over a statue in ...more
And Darkness was all over the Face of the Deep.
And We said:
Look at that fucker Dance
The review is the mini-blog I kept while I was reading it. It sort of contains spoilers: I don't give away very much about the plot, but I do spend a lot of time speculating about what the overall point of the book is. So if that kind of thing bothers you, you probably shouldn't read on. Read Infinite Jest instead, then come back and ...more
Within a year of each other two works of entertainment were released that have been pretty darn influential to me. One is this book, and the other was Jawbreaker's album Dear You. Both are relatively polarizing works, people either seem to love it or hate it*.
Jawbreaker's album was a momento ...more
I would like to give thanks to the fact that I finished this mother-effing book today.
It's now 9:40 EST as I start to write this review. I finished reading approximately five hours ago. Since then I have polished off almost an entire bottle of Chardonnay. It's taken me this long to a) get a nice enough bu ...more
Anyway, I kind of hated this book. I hated that its characters are essentially parodies of themselves which limited my ability to connect with them on any meaningful level. I hated the lack of linguistic nuance with which most of the characters speak, particularly given that the predominant speech pattern here is rife with superfluous clauses and multiple possessives, a pattern n ...more
I know what I weigh. I brush my teeth, paint my toes, wash my hair. I dress up my tote of skin as best I can. I do all this, spend all this time on my outside because I care about what other people think and see and smell and hear about me. But the real me, the unique substance that resides inside my skin and bones and fluids, that many call a soul, doesn’t get the same treatment. And it should. It really should.
It is so much more important than my freckled flesh. But I don’t know ...more
I started IJ with much anticipation and high expectations, fueled by the praises of many, many, people I know and respect. I’m thrilled that so many enjoy IJ – what’s better than a book that makes you squeal with joy? Not much.
Obviously I didn’t click with IJ. Or with Wallace’s writing style. Or both.
It just was not for me.
For the first 100-200 pages or so I believed I was going to enjoy this much more than I did. The set up was intriguing. The topi ...more
In the spirit of "Star Trek”, DFW boldly wanders through the darkness of the modern world, holding a candle, recording everything he witnesses in minute, almost helmet-cam detail.
He isn’t just preoccupied by or satisfied with the absurdity and comic potential of the world.
He wants to scrutinise it, diagnose it and cure it.
Out of the minutiae comes meaning and illumination.
It’s up to the reader to sift through the minutiae, to discard the mullock and the fool’s gol ...more
Upon finishing this tome, I held it clutched between my victorious hands and shook the 1000 page-plus behemoth over my head, making some atavistic, phlemish noises from deep within my chest. It had been two months of struggling through a seemingly impenetrable wall of prose and esoteric jargon. DFW has quite the hankering for specialized knowledge, inside vernacular, nicknames, neologisms, innitialisms and acronyms. Couple that with 100+ pages of endnotes and this makes for a he ...more
2015 Book I was Most Afraid to Hate
I read 11%. I can't do this....
Emotionally I feel
10 % amused.
90% frustrated bored and irritated.
Sorry to my buds that love it but time is toooooo short to struggle through a very long book that I'm starting to resent.
onwards and upwards :-)
Thirty years later, as postmodernism twitches through its death throes, DFW publishes the labyrinthine Infinite Jest, where all possibilities are exhausted while shattering the heart. The novel is structured around a Sierpinski Gasket, a complex series of triangles mu ...more
I suspect anyone who scales this mountainous tome will confess to some level of obsession for having done so. For me it took the form of extra reading time walking the sidewalks from the train to the office. I noticed I was given a wide berth when people saw the size of the prow coming their way. With such preoccupation you might imagine I was lost in the story, but it was more like getting lost in thoughts about the author himself. He and his sprawling intellect loomed la ...more
I made the call and less than 24 hours later, I was sitting in the chair. The dentist introduced himse ...more
Does for the English language and the definition of what it means to be an American what Citizen Kane did for cinema.
Some of the most riveting two million words I've ever read.
And probably the most hilarious 800 pages of footnotes I have ever read.
I've never been the same since.
A friend once told me that the only appropriate response to a person who calls you or your work "genius" is to calmly and clearly enunciate the words "go fuck yourself."
Make of that what you will, but when D ...more
Read the last two hundred pages in a long binge that took up most of the day.
A particularly eloquent Goodreads reviewer said that after you finish a really ...more
There is a sort of arc that describes my reaction to the book - for about the first 150 pages or so, it was touch and go. Then things improved dramatically, and for the next 500 pages, DFW had ...more
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|Infinite Jest: Fi...: The Beginning & The End (notes)||3||5||Jun 24, 2016 12:58AM|
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