Eileen'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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Oct 25, 2012

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Read from October 24 to 29, 2012

So... I didn't purchase this book because I read a clip on amazon.com and hated the writing style, and when I read the reviews on the site, they backed me up.

I HATE HATE HATE the way this author writes. Terse, declarative sentence after terse, declarative sentence, it feels like it was written by a sixth grader. Just awful. In addition, it doesn't make sense in parts. In explaining how DFW and his college roommate are different, he mentions that DFW's roommate "doesn't even drink." But literally two pages later, he mentions that DFW and his roommate frequently have a shot of Scotch to unwind at the end of the day. That stuff drives me crazy.

In addition, as many other reviewers have said, almost everyone reading this book already knows a *lot* about DFW from his own writings, so is this author really adding anything to the world? Unlike some of the other reviewers, I don't find that this book disturbs my image of "Saint Dave" - quite the opposite. I prefer my heroes to be human, with all of the same failings and problems that I have, and DFW has those in spades...which I already knew from his own writings.

That being said.... I find DFW fascinating, and I am so glad I read this book about him - it was riveting. What the author lacks in writing ability, he makes up for in research - the excerpts from letters and first-person accounts are just wonderful. I'm not sure that I learned a whole lot that I didn't already know or assume about DFW, but just hearing about him in new ways, from new people, or even new quotes from him made this book worth reading.

I'm still glad I didn't buy it, but I am glad I read it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis Eileen-
If you are interested, there is a nice piece in The Millions about archiving The Pale King at the Ransom center:

Eileen Nathan, thanks for sharing this!! I will check it out!

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