Darin Strauss's Reviews > Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky
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Feb 21, 10

bookshelves: just-finished
Read on February 21, 2010

This book is, hands down, the most original biography I have ever read. Or maybe biography isn't the term; it seems like it creates a new genre. I think the fact that it's kind of category-less -- travel adventure; literary bio; "My Dinner With Andre"-type conversation; pop-culture analysis; a great joke-telling session -- suits Wallace better than anything I can think of. He was so unique, so uniquely his own thing; he deserves a portrait this original.

Because this book gives you David Foster Wallace straight, unedited and unabashed. David Lipsky, also a smart and funny writer, got to spend the better part of a week with Wallace; this is their conversation. They blur through a pressurized week -- book tour, cars-and-planes road trips, NPR interviews, even just hanging at home with Wallace's dogs -- and so you end up with a picture of the writer that's as human as anything Wallace has written, and it's also great fun.

What it feels like is a supersized helping of Wallace straight out of the can: you spend quality time with a funny, brilliant, super-talented guy. Lipsky (who won a National Magazine Award for his Rolling Stone article on Wallace) gives us a beautiful, moving, smart introduction and afterward. But in the end, the book is Wallace's. And it's actually a good place for non-wallace heads to get to know him. That is to say, it feels not just like a DFW book, but a really good one -- it's accessible, revealing and never less than pure entertainment.
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message 1: by Lila (new)

Lila What a great review, Darin.


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