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In a sprawling, wild, super-hyped magnum opus, David Foster Wallace fulfills the promise of his precocious novel The Broom of the System. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction, features a huge cast and multilevel narrative, and questions essential elements of American culture - our entertainments, our addictions, our relationships, our pleasures, our abilities to define ourselves. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With its baroque subplots, zany political satire, morbid, cerebral humor and astonishing range of cultural references, Wallace's brilliant but somewhat bloated dirigible of a second novel (after The Broom in the System) will appeal to steadfast readers of Pynchon and Gaddis. But few others will have the stamina for it. Set in an absurd yet uncanny near-future, with a cast of hundreds and close to 400 footnotes, Wallace's story weaves between two surprisingly similar locales: Ennet House, a halfway-house in the Boston Suburbs, and the adjacent Enfield Tennis Academy. It is the "Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment" (each calendar year is now subsidized by retail advertising); the U.S. and Canada have been subsumed by the Organization of North American Nations, unleashing a torrent of anti-O.N.A.N.ist terrorism by Quebecois separatists; drug problems are widespread; the Northeastern continent is a giant toxic waste dump; and CD-like "entertainment cartridges" are the prevalent leisure activity. The novel hinges on the dysfunctional family of E.T.A.'s founder, optical-scientist-turned-cult-filmmaker Dr. James Incandenza (aka Himself), who took his life shortly after producing a mysterious film called Infinite Jest, which is supposedly so addictively entertaining as to bring about a total neural meltdown in its viewer. As Himself's estranged sons?professional football punter Orin, introverted tennis star Hal and deformed naif Mario?come to terms with his suicide and legacy, they and the residents of Ennet House become enmeshed in the machinations of the wheelchair-bound leader of a Quebecois separatist faction, who hopes to disseminate cartridges of Infinite Jest and thus shred the social fabric of O.N.A.N. With its hilarious riffs on themes like addiction, 12-step programs, technology and waste management (in all its scatological implications), this tome is highly engrossing?in small doses. Yet the nebulous, resolutionless ending serves to underscore Wallace's underlying failure to find a suitable novelistic shape for his ingenious and often outrageously funny material.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It's difficult to describe the bittersweet experience of reading this nearly-perfect novel... it's worth the effort (you'll want to have a couple of bookmarks on hand). Read morePublished 19 hours ago by David
To me, this book has two main problems: One, it reads like a very long homework assignment in graduate postmodern fiction. Read morePublished 3 days ago by hllib
dat IJ most of you are gonna buy this to sit on your shelf and b*tch silently at you for being a massive wimp, nahhh trick that's misguided, you gotta dive into the belly of this... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jasper Ryden
This writer is a genius. It is sad he is no longer alive. A must read for creative readers. He far exceeds many writers of our day.Published 11 days ago by T.N.S
I confess---I have had my copy on a shelf for almost 20 years and have started it, at least, 20 times. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Cotton Mather
without letting them weigh you down is what you will be forced to learn here. If you might become annoyed or overwhelmed with the 1,000+ pages of three simultaneous stories in a... Read morePublished 14 days ago by mr. contrarian