Jason Coleman's Reviews > Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays by David Foster Wallace
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Oct 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: greatest-hits

The adult-entertainment convention covered in the opening piece seems like a natural for Wallace, but, aside from a pathetic but priceless aside about one actress's "no hands" method of signing autographs, it seems a little tired. By this point, Wallace may have been beyond the cruise-ship and state-fair pieces for which his first essay collection was best known and which the porno expo seemed to be the latest, perfect target for. The other essays are better, including a McCain 2000 campaign-trail piece that already seems transmitted from another universe and a ruthless profile of Traci Austin--disguised as a book review--that may be the best summing-up out there of the shocking emptiness of the champion athlete. Best of all, needless to say, is the title story, one of the most ingenuous (or wickedly disingenuous) things I've ever read. Are we monsters because we choose not to think about the suffering our wild appetites inflict on the world? "Really," Wallace implores, "I want to know."
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