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Infinite Jest: A Novel
Infinite Jest: A Novel
by David Foster Wallace
Edition: Paperback
88 used & new from $3.73

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars stick with it, December 30, 2000
This review is from: Infinite Jest: A Novel (Paperback)
Here is a work with many flaws and cheap devises: men in drag, several birth-defected and malformed characters lifted without significance from K Dunn's Geek Love, and a few long and cripplingly boring scenes which DFWallace returns to again and again. And, oh yeah, the author is smarter than us, we get it. So much intellectual "onanism", re: the 100 pages of endnotes: many are vital, many entertaining, many mundane, many simply belong within the pages of the main text, but DFW makes the point clear - many of these endnotes exist simply to be endnotes! As for the novel's socio-politcal satire, I'll take Vonnegut twice on sundays.
STILL, though he may need a talented and aggressive editor, this guy can write; a true heavyweight, he strikes out, sure, but he hits 'em perfectly too. And How.
While there were times I thought I couldn't recommend this book to any but one of my friends, thinking I could not wait to just FINISH this behemoth, I eventually and decisively reverted my stance. IJ's pleasures are rich and plentiful, far too numerous to mention here. (Will say: the AA sections are consistently wow.) All told, this thing's assets far outweigh it's liabilities. I have not read a more rewarding book since.
Probably a Must Read, if only for the adventurous: many of DFW's ideas about art are relayed via one character's avant-garde film-making: he aims to tell of Life, without singular focus or neatly tied and tapered strings, and he sticks to his conceits. I have now recommended this novel widely & [GASP] would like to read it again.
It's that good.
(I don't know anyone who has now read it, who hasn't really enjoyed it.)
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