Books I Loathed discussion

Loathed Authors > The 3 Daves (thread starts on Infinite Jest)

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message 1: by Oren (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:35AM) (new)

Oren | 1 comments Please don't waste your time with this book. But if you see David Foster Wallace in the street, punch him for me.

message 2: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:35AM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
Oh, I tried to read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and it was JUST LIKE trying to read Dave Eggers (see post: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering BS). I was all, who thought publishing THIS was a good idea? I'd rather read Jewel's poetry. At least it's short.

Someone I met who also hated Eggers and DFW referred to "The Three [Pretentious:] Daves" (can't remember the actual adjective he used) and included David Sedaris, but I don't see how he fits in with those two at all. He is actually funny and he actually makes sense.

message 3: by brook (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:36AM) (new)

brook | 3 comments i tried once to waste my time with this book, but fortunately it didn't work out.

message 4: by Mary Ellen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Mary Ellen (mary_iatrop) | 24 comments I've heard those three referred to collectively as "the new Daves", but I think I heard that as an undergrad, in...2002? So they're not so new anymore. But "pretentious Daves" is a gross injustice to David Sedaris! One of the reasons he's so apealing to me is because he's so accessible. Case in point: a close friend of mine who can barely spell his own name refuses to read books in general, unless they're by Kurt Vonnegut or David Sedaris. His reasoning? They're both straight shooters who know how to make fun of themselves.

And isn't that part of the definition of pretentious, anyway? Total self-congratulation, zero self-deprecation? I know I don't trust authors who can't laugh at themselves...

message 5: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments A little off topic, because I'm still working on "Infinite Jest" and I did find "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" pretty hard to take. But, my love for DFW remains unabated, as indicated below (taken from my goodreads review of the book in question). And, OK, it's possible I'm including this here, because I don't want to be perceived as a mere grouch. Not that there's anything wrong with grouchiness.

> David Foster Wallace is one awesomely smart guy. This is both his greatest strength and his potential Achilles heel as a writer. Personally, I will read anything this man writes, because I think he is a true genius with a rare sense of compassion, and a hilarious sense of humor. Even when his writing falls victim to its own cleverness, I still find it worthwhile - perhaps because one senses that the writer is a true mensch (not something I feel when being dazzled by the cleverness of a Dave Eggers, for instance).

> Oh hell, I want to be seated next to DFW on a long transpacific flight subject to major delays, OK? I have an enormous intellectual crush on this man. And when I cavil, it is done out of love, pure and simple.

> But when discussing this book of his (A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again), caviling would simply be out of place. It contains two of the funniest essays I have ever read in my life (the descriptions of his experiences on a cruise liner and at the state fair, respectively). I think you should buy your own copy, because I certainly am not going to loan you mine.

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