Lena's Reviews > Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays by David Foster Wallace
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's review
Jan 11, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: essays

I didn't know much about David Foster Wallace when I cracked open this collection of his essays, so the first piece on the Adult Video News Awards caught me rather by surprise. Within just a few paragraphs, however, the sheer and utter brilliance of this fascinating and yet also erudite and intellectual examination of the porn industry left me with little doubt that DFW's reputation as one of the smartest and funniest writers of my lifetime is well-deserved.

Prior to this book, if you had told me that I would soon find myself reading—and enjoying—a sixty-two page essay that is at its heart a review of a dictionary, I would not have believed you. But like the other essays in this book, that piece is about so much more than just its surface topic. I walked away from it with insight and understanding into issues of language usage I had never troubled myself to think about before.

There is no question that DFW's style is on the unconventional side; while it's not always easy on the eyes to follow the two-page footnotes with footnotes of their own, or the tangent boxes that decorate his piece on a right-wing radio talk show host, it is usually worth the effort.

I will confess, however, that I did skip one piece in this collection. Despite my newfound appreciation for the author's talents, I simply haven't yet sufficiently recovered from the trauma of the recent election season to spend seventy-nine pages with him as he recounts his time following John McCain's failed 2000 bid for the Republican nomination. So I shall have to save that one for another day.

It's a terribly bittersweet experience to fall in love with an author you learned about only because of his tragic suicide. But as I mourn Wallace's untimely passing, I am grateful to know he has left behind so much work for me to discover and explore.
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message 1: by Erik (new) - added it

Erik The John McCain essay is excellent! You really should read it.

Lena Good to know. Perhaps enough time has passed for me to finally be able to appreciate it ;-)

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