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Infinite Jest Paperback – November 13, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
###Here's What You Need to Know###
David Foster Wallace's INFINITE JEST is a postmodern novel with a premodern message. Wallace, who railed against irony, wanted to be sincere in his writing. So while this book does contain many postmodern conventions, its ideas about humanity aren't postmodern at all. I think many people were disappointed that the book is "about addiction, and that's all you need to know," but there is much more to this book, and there's much more that Wallace has to say. Some of these messages are delivered with a heavy hand, and that's fine: Wallace wanted to be sincere, and he wouldn't want to dull his insights by distancing himself from them via irony or whatever else.
This book is indeed incredibly long. INFINITE JEST is notoriously known for being a long book - it's just shy of 1100 pages. Stephen King's THE STAND (uncut edition) and George R.R. Martin's STORM OF SWORDS are longer this, but I was able to clear those books much quicker than David Foster Wallace's second novel. I'm a very slow reader, and I was able to read INFINITE JEST in about two months, without taking into account the time I spent reading two shorter novels by different authors.
This book is indeed incredibly verbose.Read more ›
The novel takes place in Enfield, Massachusetts in the near future. In the story, Canada, the United States, and Mexico formed a federation called the Organization of North American Nations (known as O.N.A.N.). The citizens of this confederation spend their time watching entertainment cartridges playable on their "teleputers," devices that came about when broadcast television went bankrupt.Read more ›
Wallace has been described as ``postmodern", a word that seems to get smacked onto anything written after World War II. I don't see it. To me, postmodernism involves a few things: 1) irony, in liberal doses (e.g., DeLillo's _White Noise_); 2) a continuous awareness that we're *reading a book* and that there's an author talking to us, and that the characters are under his control (e.g., anything by Kurt Vonnegut); 3) self-reference, sometimes to the point of disorienting involution (e.g., Wallace's story ``Westward The Course Of Empire Makes Its Way" from his book _Girl With Curious Hair_ - and that story is, notably, a spoof of postmodernism). This may be an overly conservative definition of postmodernism, but the word's overapplication justifies some conservatism.
_Infinite Jest_ is not postmodern; it's just a great story with beautifully constructed characters. It is a book about a movie that is so addictive that anyone who starts watching it has no choice but to keep watching it forever - foregoing food, water, and sleep, and suffering as much pain as is necessary to keep watching. The movie itself is, to paraphrase a friend, an uber-McGuffin (I'm never sure whether I've spelled that right) - an object that never gets clearly explained, but around which the plot coheres.
The movie itself is not the main point of the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Infinite Jest is on the reader. Onanism is the author's favorite description of his writing.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Reading Wallace is like watching some 70s big-hair electric guitarist playing as many notes as fast as he can. You're supposed to be impressed. Read morePublished 7 days ago by librich
This book is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. As a bookworm approaching 50, that is a large pool in which this tome dominates. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Kaui
This is without question the best book I've ever read. Though as a reader, this is a book that is experienced way more than it is simply read. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Bloody Nose
If you're unwilling to read Infinite Jest because of some violence & sexual content you don't deserve the book. One of the best books in the English language ever written. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Anne E. Walter
I love the author's style and sense of humor. This is a hefty book, not a quick read.Published 18 days ago by College Jane