Infinite Summer 2018 discussion

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Can We Talk About Lyle?

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message 1: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Brown | 12 comments In a book full of mysterious, complex, odd characters I kind of think Lyle is at the very top. I mean, is he even real? He almost seems like a group hallucination or something.

His advice to LaMont Chu about the desire for fame and his analogy about "talent behind a locked door" are two passages that I intend to carry in my head for as long as I'm able.


message 2: by Josh (new)

Josh Mock (joshmock) | 17 comments Mod
I've been thinking and making a lot of notes about Lyle. He's the only character revealed (so far, anyway) that has apparent supernatural qualities about him. This is far from a fantasy novel so it does make him stand out. I took him as a weird sort of comedic relief at first, but it's clear that Lyle and James were close friends, and strongly implied that Lyle was unusually absent at the same time James left town for a few days immediately prior to his death.

Also, I need to go back and look to see if it actually says so or was just implied, but it may be possible that Lyle was a test subject in one of those early DMZ drug trials that went awry.

That combination of facts makes me wonder if he's a significant character despite only showing up in the background every so often in the book.

DFW has an interesting way of injecting these little mentions into his writing that are either tiny red herring distractions or little nuggets of insight, and when you come across one you never know which it is until much later. Lyle is definitely one of those. The mint-green Ford sedan idling nearby the Eschaton fight is another notable one that I was just reading this week.


message 3: by Jesse (new)

Jesse | 3 comments Isn’t the Ford idling at Eschaton Hugh Steeply? It says that the Ford has a pharmaceutical ad on the side (can’t remember exactly what), and in one of the Marathe/Steeply scenes it says that Steeply’s undercover car also has one. I assumed that Steeply was at Enfield scoping out Hal, Mario, and/or Avril because of their connection to J.O.I. and the Entertainment.


message 4: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Brown | 12 comments Yeah! Totally agree about him being a sneakily important character. That would be wild if he was an early DMZ test subject, I haven't picked up on that. Gonna keep an eye out for it moving forward.

I do think the green Ford is "Helen" showing up to interview Hal. It was mentioned in passing that Avril knew "she" was coming.


message 5: by Josh (new)

Josh Mock (joshmock) | 17 comments Mod
My meticulous note taking comes through:

’One article out of fucking Moment of all sources talks about how this one Army convict at Leavenworth got allegedly injected with some massive unspecified dose of early DMZ as part of some Army experience...’


’Allegedly Moment says how the guy’s found later in his Army cell, in some impossible lotus position, singing show tunes in a scary deadly-accurate Ethel-Merman-impression voice.’


Axford says maybe Pemulis stumbled on a possible explanation for poor old Lyle and his lotus position down in the weight room...


p. 214


message 6: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Brown | 12 comments OMG! This actually makes some other stuff make sense. What if Lyle is that guy? That's so cool.

Well done on the notes!


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