Justine's Reviews > Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays by David Foster Wallace
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Sep 25, 07

bookshelves: favorites
Recommended for: the brave, the willing, the critical
Read in September, 2007

DFW may have just won a place as one of my favorite writers. His intelligence, sharp observance, and keen wit jump off the pages. At times a little dense and circuitous, the payoff for reading his work is HUGE. There are so many dogears in this book (good quotes) that it doesn't lie flat.

DFW's style is what I would call "masturbatorily educated." He drops references (both popular and erudite) everywhere and expects his reader to get it. But beyond style, the true brilliance of the book is the way Wallace is able to communicate his insight about bizarre topics (Porn, Dictionaries, McCain, Lobsters, and Dostoevsky, just to name a few) and to generate real, human interest. The main theme of the book: America-- and the odd, gross, and funky things it means to be American.

Sample of quotes below:

"Whether the framers of the US Constitution might, in their very wildest imaginations, have been able to foresee things lke "Anal Virgins VIII" or 900-666-FUCK when they were thinking of expression they wanted to protect is obviously a thorny question and outside this article's purview."

"Ti's a function of the fact that there are so many different well-formed ways to say the same basic thing, from e.g. 'I was attacked by a bear!' to 'Goddamn bear tried to kill me!' to 'That ursine juggernaut did essay to sup upon my person!'...

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