Hundeschlitten's Reviews > A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
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's review
Nov 29, 2009

really liked it

I consider my slog through all 1,100 pages of Wallace's "Inifinite Jest" the single most fruitless and frustrating reading experience of my adult life, and I swore never to read another of his tomes. But "A Supposedly Fun Thing" was thrust in my hands by a friend during a visit, and hey, this is the first book that I've been able to read cover-to-cover in months, so that must be saying something. Wallace has a deceptively breezy style, which helps. He also touches on some of my favorite topics: tennis, the Midwest, travel, the films of David Lynch. His prospensity to undercut the entire narrative with rather random conclusions remains an issue for me, but it is a lot less frustating in an essay than a novel where you have invested 1,000+ pages of your time and emotion in the characters. Some of his analysis seems a backward and little silly in retrospect, like Wallace's scepticism that the internet will be a different way for us to receive information and entertainment, and his bemused confusion about GPS. But these essays offer an interesting reference to a point in time when Gen X oddballs like Wallace, myself, and most of my friends were perceived as the cutting edge of the culture, as compared to the middle-aged curmudgeons we have become. In short, I liked this collection rather a lot.
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Jackie "the Librarian" If you liked this, you'll probably also enjoy Consider the Lobster And Other Essays. It's more of the same.
Although I should warn you, I'm never going to be able to eat lobster again after reading the title essay.

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