This book flat-out demands a multi-layered meta-review. I mean, it has everything a po-mosexual could ask for: characters aware they might be characters in a novel, nested short stories read by the characters that comment on the parent text, an intentionally unresolved and fractured plot, pages and pages of ironic philosophical dialogue, and an ending that just
Unfortunately, that level of post-modern detachment requires real talent, the talent of, say, David Foster Wallace. Yet DFW famously criticized this, his debut novel, as reading like the work of a hyper-literate 14-year-old. Maybe. 14-year-olds aren't generally known for their restraint and this book includes everything, whether it works or not. The thing is, an astonishing amount of it does work, provided, of course, you are into this sort of thing. It is very much of a muchness: an evangelical talking parrot, a global conspiracy involving baby food, missing senior citizens, secret chemical formulas, childhood sexual obsession, mirages in a man-made desert, a fat man occupying infinite space, a character named Wang Dang Lang. You have to just go with it. It helps that it is really, really funny. Don't let the pout and that stupid bandanna (and, you know, the tragic way he died) fool you: DFW was a funny man.
This review in inadequate. But it is aware of that fact. Onto Infinite Jest! I have a feeling this was just a warm-up.