You know what? This book is amazing. I love DFW.
Often when reading good writing I think, “This is good writing.” When reading DFW, I think, “I want to write like this,” and “I want to be his friend,” and then “I just want to be him, actually.” I’m hardly embarrassed to say that I feel a connection to him through his writing. Infinite Jest was great, but I preferred A Supposedly Fun Thing because, as a non-fiction collection of essays, it was more personal.
I know that I have a bad habit of being what might charitably be called over-charitable in the way that I read. It might less charitably be called credulous or green, and as a philosophy student I suppose I really ought to be honing a more critical approach… but not with DFW. He’s so smart and witty and articulate!
My favourite essays were the eponymous one (a 100-pager about a cruise he once took) and the one about Michael Joyce, the tennis player. I have newly found interest in pro-tennis, the mid-West, and advanced calculus. DFW can do that to you.
Just read it.