37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Good but too short,
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This review is from: David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest: A Reader's Guide (Continuum Contemporaries) (Paperback)The quality of the analysis is very good and well described by other reviewers, but I was a bit disappointed with the quantity. The book is only 5 inches by 7 inches, the font is fairly large, and it is listed as having 96 pages. That would already be a very small amount of analysis for the money, but here is what those 96 pages consists of:
1-9: Title page, acknowledgments, dedication, table of contents
10-22: Description of Wallace's overall point of view- interesting, but doesn't get in to the meat of Infinite Jest
23-65: Analysis of the book- good quality; this is essentially what I wanted, just not enough of it
66-71: An overview of what book critics said about Infinite Jest when it came out. Not useful to me.
71-76: "The Novel's Performance"- a subjective discussion of whether Infinite Jest is a good book. Not useful to me.
77-79: Further reading and suggested essay topics
80-92: Chronology of the plot- useful as a reference, but lacking any analysis
So in the end, there are only 55 small pages of large font analysis, and only 42 of those pages are actually about the book itself. Counting the words on a random page and multiplying out, there are approximately 12,000 words in the section that discusses the book. According to some internet sites, that's less than 10% the length of an average novel (or 2% the length of IJ itself). I believe this would be better off as a magazine article or web posting than an actual book. I haven't read any of the competing guides to Infinite Jest, but I don't believe this one is worth the money.