Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays First Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 458 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0316156110
ISBN-10: 0316156116
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Novelist Wallace (Infinite Jest) might just be the smartest essayist writing today. His topics are various—this new collection treats porn, sports autobiographies and the vagaries of English usage, among others—his perspective always slightly askew and his observations on point. Wallace is also frustrating to read. This arises from a few habits that have elevated him to the level of both cause célèbre and enfant terrible in the world of letters. For one thing, he uses abbrs. w/r/t just about everything without warning or, most of the time, context. For another, he inserts long footnotes and parenthetical asides that by all rights should be part of the main texts (N.B.: These usually occur in the middle of phrases, so that the reader cannot recall the context by the time the parentheses are wrapped up) but never are. These tricks are adequately postmodern (a term Wallace is intelligent enough to question) to prove his cleverness. But a writer this gifted doesn't need such cleverness. Wallace's words and ideas, as well as a wonderful sense of observation that makes even the most shopworn themes seem fresh, should suffice.
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From Bookmarks Magazine

It’s a well-accepted proposition that Wallace, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant recipient, is one of the most brilliant essayists alive. But it’s another matter altogether whether his work—at once luminous, provocative, digressive, and frustrating—finds the audience it deserves. Like Infinite Jest (1996) and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (1997), this collection showcases Wallace’s love of language, emotional IQ, and curiosity about the world (and the starlets who populate it). His trademark footnotes, essays in themselves, rarely fail to entertain—if you can follow them. But a few critics ask whether this collection exhibits more high jinks than actual intellectual insight; the arrows and boxed comments in the essay "Host," for example, may just obscure a Very Important Point. But that may be the point—to get you thinking about much more than the lobster.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.


Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.26 pounds
  • Hardcover : 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0316156116
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0316156110
  • Product Dimensions : 6.72 x 1.14 x 9.42 inches
  • Publisher : Little, Brown and Company; First Edition (December 13, 2005)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 458 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
458 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on September 10, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Eilidh
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2018
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7 people found this helpful
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I K CREASEY
3.0 out of 5 stars Drawbacks of the Kindle edition
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 31, 2014
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20 people found this helpful
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Smst1
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard work at times - but worth it !
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2015
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quality writing with footnotes...and more footnotes...and some more footnotes...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2015
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2 people found this helpful
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Andrew
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not great 'essays'
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 4, 2014
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