Allen Adams's Reviews > Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story by D.T. Max
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's review
Oct 03, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: published-reviews, nonfiction, biography-memoir
Read in August, 2012

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “genius” thusly:
- A single strongly marked capacity or aptitude.
- Extraordinary intellectual power especially as manifested in creative activity.
- A person endowed with transcendent mental superiority.

The late writer David Foster Wallace was an embodiment of all of these definitions. The author of the seminal novel “Infinite Jest” – along with a wealth of beloved work both fiction and non – died in September of 2008 by his own hand. He was just 46 years old.

D.T. Max’s meticulous research has resulted in a profile of an undeniably brilliant – and undeniably flawed – man trying to come to terms with both the expectations of the world around him and his own expectations of himself. Wallace was constantly walking the tightrope, trying to discern between what he was supposed to want and what he actually wanted.

In the end, David Foster Wallace truly was a genius, but he was also far from perfect. “Every Love Story is a Ghost Story” shows us the man as he was seen by those closest to him as opposed to how he saw himself.

I think he would have liked that a great deal.
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