- Publisher: Hachette Audio (April 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1609419758
- ISBN-13: 978-1609419752
- ASIN: B005HBQEOI
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 5.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 147 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,873,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Pale King
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This book contains passages that are amazing, almost spell-binding in their ability to capture the flow of human thought as it gets wound around the details of everyday life. But it is completely and totally unfinished, more a series of promising sketches than a novel. None of it is going to really wrap up. You'll get introduced to some incredibly interesting characters (I loved Leonard and am deeply saddened to know he'll never be brought more to light, that we'll never know more about the fates of "Irrelevant" Chris Fogle, Lane, the ficticious David Wallace, that weird baby, or even the self-absorbed Meredith). But it's an unfinished novel in every sense of the word - the beginning, middle, and end aren't fully fleshed out.
David Foster Wallace isn't to every taste. The stuff that sends readers like me over the moon is really unappealing to some people. I know firsthand - I happened to be married to one of those people. And that goes double for an unfinished Wallace novel. We'll never know how he would have brought this all together, what details he might have adjusted or culled. It's incredible that after reading 538 pages, you close the book feeling as if you've barely scratched the surface of what this novel could have been. But, to borrow a thought from the editor's foreword, I'm so glad that this book was published - even in a totally incomplete state - rather than filed away with the rest of his papers.
In a better, less tragic, alternate reality, we would have been treated to an exceptional novel. In this reality, "The Pale King" is what we get. I'm sad it's all we get, but so grateful for the decision to share it with us.