Thomas Litchford's Reviews > Oblivion

Oblivion by David Foster Wallace
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's review
Aug 13, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: short-stories
Read in May, 2011

Oblivion reads like a catalog of horrors. Exquisitely wrought horrors. I loved it. The craft in these stories is astonishing, the way they work technically.

Three stories stood out for me: Good Old Neon, Oblivion, and The Suffering Channel. The Suffering Channel is more of a novella, and it's incredibly powerful. On the surface, it's about a 'People'-like magazine doing a story on an 'artist' who poops fully formed sculptures; but that's just on the surface. The story is also Wallace's reaction to September 11th (I know that seems like a big leap, but he pulls it off brilliantly). It functions as a sort of wakeup call to our culture, but not in an obnoxious, manifesto-like way.

In a culture full of beautiful shit, Wallace's writing was a cool clear clean reservoir of potable water. God damn it why did he have to kill himself.

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