Summer of Jest discussion

end of book - thoughts, comments, and discussions (** may contain spoilers **)

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenina77) | 32 comments Mod
I haven't finished the book yet myself, but I see that a few folks have. So please use this thread to post your comments without having to worry about spoiling things for those of us who haven't quite got there yet.

message 2: by John (new)

John | 3 comments Right off the bat, I have to say that the conventional (or pre-DFW) reader in me wanted some type of resolution of the plot. I read Broom of a System before tackling Jest, so I had an inkling that the book might end like it did, but I was so invested by the end that I was dying to know what happened. Did Hal come to terms with his addiction? Did Gately live? Did anyone find the Entertainment? Don't get me wrong, I loved the book, but some more finality would have been appreciated...

message 3: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Soriano | 13 comments I just wrote a review of the book on my blog. Check it out for my thoughts on Infinite Jest.

message 4: by Davy (last edited Aug 31, 2013 12:45AM) (new)

Davy (davidfung) | 15 comments Mod
This was the second time I read the book, and as I will do this weekend, if you have Elegant Complexity handy, it helped explain some of the concepts that I may not have gotten on my own. One thing they mention alot in Elegant Complexity is the idea of cycles, and how the comparison between Gately not being able to speak, and Hal not being able to speak are tied together.

It also talks about what may have happened between November YDAU and November YG

message 5: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 6 comments I just finished it, still processing it all. I was hoping for more of a resolution too.

message 6: by scott (new)

scott (scottbdz) | 15 comments wow. still processing is exactly how I feel...

message 7: by B.p. (new)

B.p. Gallucci (BPGallucci) | 3 comments I think there is more resolution in the text than some of these comments suggest -- the only thing is, the resolutions don't come at the end of the novel. Since its presented in a non-linear way you actually learn the answers to questions you don't know you have yet. At least that was my experience. Just a couple of examples:
Gately does live and get out of the hospital, although we don't see that at the end of the novel, because he's there to dig up Himself's head with Hal; Hal describes that scene very early on pg 16 I believe:

"I think of John N. R. Wayne, who would have won this year's WhataBurger, standing watch in a mask as Donald
Gately and I dig up my father's head."

Gately also describes having a dream about needing to dig up the grave and how important is -- presumably the Entertainment was buried there.

message 8: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenina77) | 32 comments Mod
^ Good points, BP. And thanks for the reminder of some of the plotpoints from early on.

What a wonderful, convoluted maze DFW has left for us all! I feel that this is much more than just a book, and can understand why so many people become so passionate about this work. I didn't have that reaction myself -- there was just no emotional connection for me -- but I'm still blown away intellectually by the sheer brilliance of the book. And very, very glad I finally got around to reading it.

message 9: by B.p. (new)

B.p. Gallucci (BPGallucci) | 3 comments I think its a book that rewards a second reading because of that non-linear presentation of the plot I was mentioning. Once you know who Gately and John NR Wayne are, you're more going to pick up on that sentence early on in the text.
It is definitely a convoluted maze DFW left -- I guess the interesting question / discussion point is why, why did he present the story in this way?

What would you do if you woke up one day as someone else? #LexusSam

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