Stephanie's Reviews > Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
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's review
Nov 11, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: literature, dystopian
Recommended to Stephanie by: Peter Shippy (kudos to Jess, Rebecca, CJ, and Katelynne)


I finished the three-pound volume I had been salivating over the prospect of reading for two years. When a $1 NYC thrift store copy fell into my hands and a couple friends coincidentally said they were going for it, I knew this was the ideal time. Even with my double bookmarks, it took me from April to November. Sure, I read less than 100 pages in August and September combined, but sometimes you just need a break! My love for this book remained unwavering.

Diving into this novel was huge fun. It turns out feeling constantly bewildered can be pretty great! The story spirals outward and outward, and each time it loops back it gave me 25% answers and 75% more questions. All that fragmentation is vexing, but I still stubbornly love the sweeping scope. Processing it with others has softened me to it a lot--even now that we're all done, IJ will occasionally surface. "How would you feel if you were Mario?," "What was the deal with John Wayne?," or "THE MOMS" instantly get the conversation going.

I think DFW is a genius, but the fact that the whole thing never stops feeling like it's only the beginning... I don't have it in me to give it 5 stars. Maybe the 5 stars will have to wait for The Pale King, which at least has an excuse.

Web pages that helped:

And yes, I am using my dystopia tag, dammit, as any so-called civilization that "subsidizes time" fully deserves.

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