Most helpful critical review
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Take your time and read Infinite Jest and skip this "study" of it.
on November 11, 2011
I ordered this book on the strength of the reviews and an overestimation of the complexity of Infinite Jest. The fact that Elegant Complexity is promoted as "spoiler free" indicates more of a companion piece than a study of the novel itself. I do not want to take anything away from the reviewers as I can see value in this type of book if, for example, Infinite Jest was required reading and not your cup of tea. This could make it easier to comprehend, but it would certainly appear to me to take the joy out of reading Infinite Jest (and it was a joy). I read the Introduction and first chapter review and realized that Elegant Complexity was not going to enhance my comprehension of the book, but would certainly take away my enjoyment of it. Needless to say, I put the book down and spent the next several weeks thoroughly enjoying Infinite Jest. After I finished the novel, I went back and looked over Elegant Complexity to see if perhaps it could be utilized as a review and I found that it did not include much of anything I missed and failed to discuss items I would have considered relevant in a companion work like this. I found myself referring to the novel to fill the gaps left in some of the summary information in an early chapter review in Elegant Complexity, which seemed odd to me and compelled me to share my thoughts. If you are dedicated to reading Infinite Jest for pleasure, I would suggest taking your time and reading the book and skipping the "spoiler-free" guide. Infinite Jest can be complex when compared to much of today's popular novels, but it is worth the effort. I applaud the effort to make David Foster Wallace more accessible to the average reader, but I just do not see this achieving that objective and I personally expected much more.