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Girl With Curious Hair Paperback – February 17, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- Peter Bricklebank, City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I've just finished it in almost one sitting, and like so often, when the book you've just finished didn't turned out to be total crap, you start missing its characters.
I miss Julie Smith from the "Jeopardy !" show, I wanna stick to "Sick Puppy" and his punky friends visiting a Keith Jarrett (!) concert. I feel sorry for old pal Chuck Nunn, jr., who, after a car accident, had his eyes constantly popping out their holes (!!). I deeply felt for the woman who "appeared in the David Letterman show", don't be nervous anymore ! And then finally there's David Boyd, first boy and close friend of the president of the United States, Lynton B.Johnson !
David Foster Wallace presents each of the five stories in a different tone, a different style: There's the more traditional narrative form in the first story, pure satire (with shades of Brett Easton Ellis's "American Psycho") in the second, and a haunting yet nightmarish and illogical atmosphere in the third one. The fourth story comes with a dry, almost documentary-like kind of prose, while the fifth and last story (the LBJ story) once again returns to more traditional grounds.
But don't worry: David Foster Wallace successfully manages to avoid pretentiousness or self-indulgence and never lets "Girl with curious hair" end up in a writing skill showcase !
This book is funny, it's brilliant, it should be regarded as a modern classic, but word comes around his other books are even better <...> oboy !
I agree with the earlier reviewers, Pynchon infiltrates this text, making these stories about rock stars, tv celebrities, and politicians seem less, well, unique. And while Pynchon steps back on the narrative and sort of accepts the absurdity of his premises (like in Vineland), Wallace also wants this sort of authenticity, this emotional punch, which at times seems contrived.
So, he is essentially writing for two (or three, including himself) audiences, the lit critics and the fans, and unfortunately he cannot hit both, so he settles on m.o.r. fare that's vaguely insulting to his characters. I mean, his characters, like Boyd in "Lyndon" come off as caricatures, silly stand-ins for the BIG POINT he wants to get across to the grad school audience.
I think D F W was talented and had a great deal to say, but I also think that he is best simply telling a story, instead of having to add literary value, because let's face it, there's only so much to the joke of a bunch of conservative "punkrockers" in "Girl with the Curious Hair."
My recommendation, pick this up, but do not feel beholden to finishing any one story.
There are no bad stories here and three of them are brilliant; the title story, "Little Expressionless Animals" and "My Appearance" are all well worth a read. The standout however was "Lyndon" about the hapless american president. This story stayed with me long after I read it. It was emotionally affecting and believable as a piec of historical fiction. One of the best short stories I have ever read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book didn't delight me as much as his other works. I guess I like swan songs more than juvenilia. A snobbishness towards old, aged, fermented mind stuff.Published 1 month ago by Sheng
I love this book, and I seem to have lost more than one copy since I first purchased it, so I finally got myself another one, and reread it recently. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ella McCrystle
It is short stories which I don't care for. I liked some of the stories and some I didn'tPublished 4 months ago by Barbv
I have tried to read Wallace several times now, and every time I have had to put him down. I have never finished anything he has written. Read morePublished 6 months ago by FM67
Came to this writer by his reputation. Not crazy about lnfinite Jest as novel, but enjoyed the writing. Read morePublished 10 months ago by David Fahl
Again, this format is inappropriate for this book. Girl With Curious Hair was written by David Foster Wallace who is thought to have been one of the U.S.'s greatest writers. Mr. Read morePublished 10 months ago by A. Watts
This is not s read for the summer beach! It requires concentration, attention and a need to be totally present in the moment! Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kindle Customer
I had read part of Wallace's "The Pale King" – I picked up the book at the library and it fell open at a passage which was so painfully true to a part of my own family that... Read morePublished 12 months ago by AYJ