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Book Club > October - A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again

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message 1: by Chance (last edited Oct 06, 2010 11:27AM) (new)

Chance Lee (mrchance) | 42 comments Mod
We'll be meeting on Monday, November 1 @ 7:00pm to discuss David Foster Wallace's essay collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll never do again. Check out the amazon.com review and pick up a copy in our store:

"David Foster Wallace made quite a splash in 1996 with his massive novel, Infinite Jest. Now he's back with a collection of essays entitled A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. In addition to a razor-sharp writing style, Wallace has a mercurial mind that lights on many subjects. His seven essays travel from a state fair in Illinois to a cruise ship in the Caribbean, explore how television affects literature and what makes film auteur David Lynch tick, and deconstruct deconstructionism and find the intersection between tornadoes and tennis.
These eclectic interests are enhanced by an eye (and nose) for detail: "I have seen sucrose beaches and water a very bright blue. I have seen an all-red leisure suit with flared lapels. I have smelled what suntan lotion smells like spread over 21,000 pounds of hot flesh . . ." It's evident that Wallace revels in both the life of the mind and the peculiarities of his fellows; in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again he celebrates both."


message 2: by Chance (new)

Chance Lee (mrchance) | 42 comments Mod
If you love this book, also pick up a copy of Wallace's critically acclaimed novel Infinite Jest.


message 3: by Emma (new)

Emma (empendleton) | 19 comments Mod
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by Wallace is also very good. Indeed, the men are hideous, but the writing is top notch.


message 4: by Janet (new)

Janet | 6 comments Mod
Please note! I very strongly encourage people reading the book to start with the title essay, which is the last one in the book. Some of his topics are pretty obscure, but his obsessive description of a weeklong luxury cruise is hopelessly entertaining.


message 5: by Chance (new)

Chance Lee (mrchance) | 42 comments Mod
I enjoy the "quick footnote" (over two pages long) describing his supper companions.


message 6: by Janet (new)

Janet | 6 comments Mod
Well, it's "quick" relative to everything else he writes? I mean, he's hilarious, but it's not for nothing that the word "infinite" is half the title of his first novel.


message 7: by Chance (new)

Chance Lee (mrchance) | 42 comments Mod
I've also enjoyed his rumination on the Professional Smile: the wholly and obviously fake smile that people in customer service (not us here at the Cellar, of course!) plaster insincerely on their faces, and the ire it evokes when we, as customers, are denied it. At Starbucks across the street, they have completely abandoned any pretense of attempting to give me a Professional Smile, and I want to throw a Professional Fit!


message 8: by Chance (new)

Chance Lee (mrchance) | 42 comments Mod
I've read the cruise essay and the David Lynch-focused essay (which I discovered I had actually read parts of before when I was trying to make sense of Lost Highway. Love his lambasting of the smarmy-seeming Balthazar Getty.) Any recommendations on which one I should read next? I won't have time to read the whole collection by book club night.


message 9: by Janet (new)

Janet | 6 comments Mod
I suggest the one about the Illinois State Fair-- "Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All" or some such pithy title.


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