Dann LaGratta's Reviews > Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story by D.T. Max
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Aug 31, 12

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Read from August 29 to 31, 2012

Fantastic biography of DFW. I read in almost non-stop only stopping when I had to sleep (which I got too little of b/c I was y'know reading) and work. The footnotes at the end of the book (or simply "notes" seeing as they're not on the bottom) seemed like a pleasant homage to IJ (though nowhere near as copious). Mr. Max did a wonderful job describing Wallace as a person, neither lionizing or seeming taking delight in his less pleasant aspects (not that a biographer would do that, but Charles J. Shields did in his Vonnegut biography which came out a few months back ((if I seem bitter, it's b/c I am, seriously, fuck that guy))).

I do have a few complaints though. It seems like the basis for his research was based on Stephen J. Burn's Conversations with DFW and then fleshed out. This is curious to be b/c there's another DFW essay collection coming out this fall and it seems like none of them got mentioned in ELSiaGS, which would make this biography somewhat less complete than it could be.

Also I think there was a misprint or general FUBAR thing regarding a publication of a story. I could be wrong, I probably am, but it's still bothersome.

Really, the worst thing I have to say about it is that it's not long enough, which is also the best thing I could say about it.

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Matthew Perhaps Max didn't have access to the forthcoming essay collection? I like the concise nature of the book, but I'm sure someone else will write a longer bio eventually. In general, I think we should let Wallace's works speak for themselves, and use the biography as an interesting addendum.


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