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A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: An Essay
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A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: An Essay

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  510 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
A single essay - not to be confused with the collection of essays under a similar name.
Kindle Edition
Published April 1st 2012 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1996)
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Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have never read anything by David Foster Wallace before. There are so many wonderful reviews here on GR for his I decided to read this one first. I am sooo glad I did. His writing is amaaaazing! I don't know even how to begin to describe this book except to say that he is pure genius. DFW can take small everyday inconsequential items and write about them with such amazing and wonderful detail. He has a keen eye and a sharp wit. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading m ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this essay. The way DFW writes is just brilliant. The vocabulary (I kept a running list of words I did not know and reached about 75 - most of which I had never even seen or heard before) was just stunning and his descriptions so apt - especially if you've ever been on one of those luxury cruises before. This is a must read. If you were thinking of reading this author, this is a great entree. I thank Eli for turning me on to this.
Leigh Coop
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love DFW

This is a hilarious essay. His writing is so dead-on funny and correct. Great to read. The cruise phenomenon has only gotten worse since he wrote this.
T.D. Smith
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Wallace's writing style is amusing but long winded. "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" has moments of sincere self reflection but generally feels aloof and pretentious, as if the people he encounters are animals in a zoo. I suppose that's the intent - to convey the feeling that he and the reader are nestled close together at a party, sharing significant glances and laughing at the absurdity of everything around them.

Wallace stretches what should have been a ten page essay into half a
Deborah Lagutaris
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The charming DFW i missed his entire career. Currently working my way through his oeuvre with delight and sadess knowing he is gone. I should write to Haruki Mirakami to morrow the express my gratitude for his work.

I am reading his essays now. Three years ago I discovered David Foster Wallace. His book The Pale King was written by a numbers geek for numbers geeks and I raised my hand in the air. Have read this book more times than I watched monty python holy grail. My computer is a little bitty
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
For me, this is an entrance to EVA's work.

Finally, something he wrote that I understand. Probably, I'll have to start with his non-fiction and transition to fiction later. This is an essay on his experiences and observations on-board a cruise ship. Mixed in are ruminations on what it means to do nothing, and mortality. I liked it a lot.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you've never been on a cruise and don't intend to ever go then you should probably read this. Funny and entertaining, DFW comes up with the most hilarious observations and has you smiling every other page.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
A fun and interesting read about Wallace's experience taking a one-week cruise vacation in the Caribbean. His observations are so amusing and thoughtful that I was inspired to buy another one of his books.
Mike Smith
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Anti social man spends week in floating prison

Hates his fellow passengers. Loathes the staff. Is extremely sweaty. This has affirmed my suspicions that cruising sounds like a bad idea.
Jeremy Ward
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I read Infinite Jest last December and gave it just four stars at the time because I feared I didn't really "understand" it fully, and that I would need to revisit the work once or twice more before I could give it a proper ranking, but having now read another one of DFW's works (and knowing full-well that IJ has hung with me since my first reading), it's unreasonable that it and this receive anything less than 5 stars. I'm clearly late to the game, and apparently now need to absorb e
Tom Romig
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't believe I've read anything by David Foster Wallace before this. What a drolly entertaining writer! This extended essay is a clever and comic look into the phantasmagorical world of the lumbering goliaths known as cruise ships. Savor his description of his cabin bathroom; laugh over his humiliation at the chess board by a 9-year-old girl; marvel at the endless eating. Great fun--though never to be experienced again--brought to you by the only man on board who was sans tuxedo at the formal ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
David Foster Wallace writes with acerbic wit in this deeply cynical, almost anthropological look at luxury cruises. It's an interesting look into his own psyche as much as it is into the type of people who regularly vacation by luxury cruise ship. The characters built out of passing interactions with the cruise staff, diners at Table 64 and various other passengers are so artfully described. These projections populate the pages of the essay - the overly proud Greek officers, Mr. Dermatitis, Tibo ...more
Brian Godsey
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Extremely clever, but not to a fault; and what else would I come to expect from David Foster Wallace? I can't believe how smart this guy is, and how well he turns it into commentary. This is a must-read long essay for any intellectual that has ever set foot out of his or her house, and in particular those who have been out of the country. After I read this, I found myself asking everyone I know who has been on a cruise if they found some of the same things to be true. I have to read more of his ...more
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
DFW's wonderful essay on a week of "Managed Fun" aboard a luxury cruise is excellent: using clever observation, a real gift with language and cynical humor, DFW confirmed that I should never go on a cruise again. Whether he is measuring his cabin in Keds (eleven long by twelve wide) or simply stating the obvious ("I have absolutely no fucking idea what is going on"), DFW captured the essence of (awful) cruise life in a lovely and endearing way.
Jon Bettcher
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice glimpse inside the head of David Foster Wallace. He writes and observes with such detail, using the perfect word to describe an otherwise uninteresting encounter. I laughed out loud several times, and identified with many of the situations described. He's pretty neurotic, but self-deprecating and inquisitive enough to never be boring. I can't say I'll be taking a cruise anytime soon, but I will read some more DFW.
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read

An interesting essay about a cruise trip. The writing is amazing and the vocabulary stunning. I would recommend this book to anyone who has taken any type of organized trip.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very wonderful to see a Caribbean cruise through Wallace's eyes. . . . .some of it too true!
Jared Komoroski
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Super great collection of essays. I'll never quite view tennis, cruises, or David Lynch the same way again. It was nice to read a relatively a-political book for once. I've been burnt out by all the hyper political stuff as of late.
Ann Douglas
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered what really happens on those luxury cruise ships? David Foster Wallace tells all in this wonderfully snarky literary travel short. His comments on "essaymercials" and jet skis, in particular, are not to be missed.
John Cinq-Mars
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Seriously, just wow. While I never had any desire to go on a cruise anyways, he has rendered me awe struck at both his ability to describe one and to convince me in no uncertain terms to never ever go on one.
Cheryl Yang
Aug 16, 2016 rated it liked it
A few of the pieces were great (I'm looking at you E Unibus Pluram)! Others not so much. I can confirm that I'm not at all interested in tennis. At all.
Betsy Boo
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Wish I'd read this before I spent all that $ on a cruise. Really funny...and true!
Todd Mathison
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
A typically funny, sardonoic war between David Foster Wallace's brainy cynicism and the aggressive hospitality of a 7-day luxury cruise in the Caribbean.
Luke Crawford
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Entertaining in the banal and aloof sort of way one would expect if you bought Wallace a cruse and asked him to write an essay about the experience.
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoy reading David Foster Wallace occasionally.
Sergio Remon
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Greatest essay ever written on the experience of being on a cruise liner
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it
A love story between a man and his footnotes.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2014
rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2014
Lin Xi
rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2014
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David Foster Wallace worked surprising turns on nearly everything: novels, journalism, vacation. His life was an information hunt, collecting hows and whys. "I received 500,000 discrete bits of information today," he once said, "of which maybe 25 are important. My job is to make some sense of it." He wanted to write "stuff about what it feels like to live. Instead of being a relief from what it fe ...more