Rob's Reviews > Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
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's review
Jun 27, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-favorites, college, vermont, own, important, project, time-all-time-100, 100-howell-favorites, 2012, recommended
Recommended for: human beings
Read from March 29 to April 29, 2012 — I own a copy

Original off-the-cuff review from when I first joined Goodreads:

Imagine (if you will) an attempt to capture the whole of human experience in a semi-plausible all-too-near future North America. Now imagine that the attempt works. And it does a pretty good job of getting a good cross-section and eviscerating it (it is a cross-section, after all) in all of its banal humanity.

The physical weight of this novel can be a bit intimidating. Most folks don't feel this ambitious when it comes to their pleasure reading. Which is too bad, really. Because if you just take your time, you'll find yourself well-rewarded.

But yeah, you've got to be prepared to take a joke.


2012 re-read review:



2012 co-reading notes


"10 Science Fiction Books That I Love (and you will at least like a lot)" at litreactor
10 Science Fiction Novels You Pretend to Have Read (And Why You Should Actually Read Them) at io9
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Quotes Rob Liked

David Foster Wallace
“I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace
“A U.S. of modern A. where the State is not a team or a code, but a sort of sloppy intersection of desires and fears, where the only public consensus a boy must surrender to is the acknowledged primacy of straight-line pursuing this flat and short-sighted idea of personal happiness.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace
“...when he kneels at other times and prays or meditates or tries to achieve a Big-Picture spiritual understanding of God as he can understand Him, he feels Nothing — not nothing, but Nothing, an edgeless blankness that somehow feels worse than the sort of unconsidered atheism he Came In with.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Reading Progress

03/29/2012 page 3
0.0% "Text nominally starts on page 3. Also: we're doing this:"
03/30/2012 page 27
2.0% "Erdedy."
03/31/2012 page 49
5.0% "Pandora's box of worms"
04/01/2012 page 65
6.0% "( The Filmography )"
04/01/2012 page 85
8.0% ""...the State is not a team or a code, but a sort of sloppy intersection of desires and fears...""
04/02/2012 page 109
10.0% ""...all over the map in terms of key.""
04/03/2012 page 126
12.0% ""Mario's first even remotely romantic encounter ever thus far.""
04/04/2012 page 142
13.0% ""...subjective intuition and rhetorical flourish."" 6 comments
04/05/2012 page 169
16.0% "...feet dragging, eyes on the aether."
04/06/2012 page 193
18.0% "Hal & Mario listen to Madame Psychosis."
04/07/2012 page 219
20.0% "Contemplating DMZ ingestion logistics."
04/08/2012 page 258
24.0% ""something smells delicious""
04/08/2012 page 283
26.0% "(so... they won against Port Washington)"
04/08/2012 page 306
28.0% "Poor Tony's seizure on the T."
04/09/2012 page 312
29.0% "ETA standings etc. (and but so there was also a super-long fn. in there re: Orin's new fascination with Qc. politics + separatism)"
04/10/2012 page 321
30.0% "More Marathe & Steeply; freedom-from vs. -to."
04/16/2012 page 418
38.0% "Hal's essay on the role of advertising in the decline of broadcast television."
04/17/2012 page 450
42.0% "Mario is agitated about MP's sudden radio hiatus; Hal's terrible dental dreams."
04/18/2012 page 489
45.0% "The grisly scene at Antitoi Entertainent."
04/19/2012 page 528
49.0% "Hal et al.: in deep shit?"
04/20/2012 page 593
55.0% ""There.""
04/23/2012 page 662
61.0% ""Carved out of what though, this place?""
04/24/2012 page 682
63.0% "Poutrincourt is on to Steepley."
04/24/2012 page 698
65.0% ""She could barely stand to think about them, even at the best of times, which the present was not.""
04/26/2012 page 747
69.0% ""...Joelle was awake at 0400, cleaning back behind the refrigerator for the second time, when Orin cried out in the nightmare she'd felt should have been hers.""
04/28/2012 page 816
76.0% "(Started nodding off... but managed to get to the end of Tiny Ewell's soliloquy [??] to bed-ridden/intubated Don Gately re his childhood exploits.)"
04/28/2012 page 845
78.0% "Gately at St. E.'s, hallucinating (?$ Himself's wraith."
04/28/2012 page 876
81.0% "Ortho's forehead is stuck to the window."
04/28/2012 page 916
85.0% "The events leading up to Gately getting thrown into Billerica Minimum." 5 comments
03/10/2017 marked as: read
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