Daniel's Reviews > Girl With Curious Hair

Girl With Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace
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Feb 11, 12

bookshelves: 2012, literature
Read in January, 2012

GWCH is a fine jaunt into DFW’s mind of detail and warmth. In these nine short stories and one (the last) novella a common theme is this sort of ironic detachment from the world’s suffering because the world is obviously a rough place, girded by a feeling of hope anyway. The quintessential high point of any character here is when they are quiet and thinking, preferably staring off into the sky mulling some small detail that absolutely means the world to their situation. Whether it’s childhood hours spent reviewing knowledge cards, the feeling of oil-tainted wind rushing over a heart attack, the memories of a son whose father burned him with a lighter, a plaintive president staring through a window at protestors, the anguish of remembered love after a breakup, Spring’s greenery seen through the eyes of a pessimist and an optimist, or the author’s own teetering on the edge of catastrophe and fulfillment in their own story. This work causes whistfulness and longing while remaining hilarious and utterly grounded in reality on its most stark terms. Essentially, it’s written by David Foster Wallace.

Brief summary:

Little Expressionless Animals
A Jeopardy chapmion and the life that got her there plus Alex Trebek.

Luckily the Account Representative Knew CPR
A moment in a parking ramp with the regional VP, a co-worker and a swirling mass of confused feeling.

Girl with Curious Hair
The exaggerated Republican and his masochistic tendencies while funding a following of stoners.

Lyndon
LBJ from the angle of a campaign staffer, both workaholics.

John Billy
Weird southern people talking about stuff. I’m not sure what I read.

Here and There
The first-person narrative of a boy afraid of everything there is.

My Appearance
Nervous woman appears on Letterman, Letterman astounded.

Say Never
…demonstrates that I don’t absorb well stories that depend on subtle relational cues.

Everything Is Green
1.5 pages of beauty.

Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way
Ad mogul plans largest McDonald’s commercial ever, they get lost, history is recounted, metafiction, metafiction, not metafiction!
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