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Signifying Rappers Paperback – July 23, 2013
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"The Best Mind of His Generation"―A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"A prose magician, Mr. Wallace was capable of writing...about subjects from tennis to politics to lobsters, from the horrors of drug withdrawal to the small terrors of life aboard a luxury cruise ship, with humor and fervor and verve. At his best he could write funny, write sad, write sardonic and write serious. He could map the infinite and infinitesimal, the mythic and mundane. He could conjure up an absurd future...while conveying the inroads the absurd has already made in a country where old television shows are a national touchstone and asinine advertisements wallpaper our lives."―Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"One of the most influential writers of his generation."―Timothy Williams, The New York Times
ACCLAIM FOR SIGNIFYING RAPPERS:
"Costello and Wallace's pioneering study is a dazzling performance: informative, provocative, funny and brilliantly written, an intellectually wired style combining subtle and original thought with great wit, insight, and in-your-face energy."―Review of Contemporary Fiction
"Two educated white guys do the right thing by scoping out 'The Meaning of Rap' without pretending to know everything about it...Signifying Rappers is both a cogent explication of rap and a cutting, revealing parody of overinflated pseudointellectual rap criticism."―Seattle Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Let me first state that I am a huge fan of hip-hop and rap and as such was excited to get this book and read more about the genre and its origins. As a West Coast teen in the late 80's N.W.A. and Ice-T were constantly playing on my Walkman. So I am definitely a fan of the music and genre as a whole.
The book: I am not sure how to express my disappointment with this book. I do not have the words to properly convey how horrible the reading experience was for me. I recognize that the co-author Costello openly admits that his book is a collection of essays by DFW and they put the book together after the fact, so that may contribute to the challenges I had with this book. But the material reads like a sociologist's jumble of field notes and observations. The thoughts are rarely coherent or build one upon the next. The writing style is frantic and just overwhelmingly long-winded. I am not an English or Literature teacher, so I am not an expert when it comes to syntax, grammar, punctuation, and proper writing conventions but it does not take a scholar to recognize that this book is a mess. There are run-on sentences that go on and on full of circular reasoning that just muddy the waters and confuse the topic at hand. The author often diverges off of the topic to bring in other elements in order to prove a point or offer background on the social climate of the time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
DFW and MC have intellectually and eloquently started a needed discussion on the necessity and purpose of rap and hip-hop. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Alex Dionisio
Heard SINGIFYING RAPPERS (Hachette Audio), written by David Foster Wallace and Mark Costello and narrated by Robert Petkoff. Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Blaine Greenfield