- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 19 hours and 19 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 15, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004WMBUH4
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Pale King Audiobook – Unabridged
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What we do posses, however, is a monumental and loving work by Wallace's editor Michael Pietsch. Contacted by David's widow Karen Green and his agent Bonnie Nadell upon discovering the remnants of this work following his 2008 suicide, Pietsch took this material and formed what we're reading today. Of anyone alive today, Pietsch is perhaps most familiar with Wallace's fractured narrative style and the format of this work fits that mold as best as the material would allow. Religiously avoiding changes to any of the wording or content, Pietsch attempted, using left behind notes and, importantly, intimate conversations with DFW himself, to construct the vision of those conversations.
David clearly was interested in conveying the unending boredom associated with working at the IRS and the tedium of unraveling the ever changing tax system. Having completed a mountain of research to the extent that he seemed explicitly conversant in that language, he then constructed a story whereby he implants himself (fictionally) as a low level worker in an Illinois IRS office and lets himself go. Now with an educated David Wallace armed with knowledge of intricate tax code information, one can surmise what he'd be able to do with that...and as this story was being formed, we get classic Wallace: humor, cynicism, intellect, wordiness, otherworldly observations and the always ubiquitous footnotes. Again, depending on the point of development, these extracts are brilliant or seemingly contrived...it becomes almost obsessive to the reader to wonder how this book would have turned out.
The fact that there isn't a conventional ending isn't important...it is an unfinished work after all. What is important or shall I say disheartening is that as the book tails off, it's with the realization that there will not be any more...no more lobster fests, no more tennis academies, no more cruise ships...etc. What's published is all we have. So I give this book five stars, perhaps unfairly and biased, because it certainly does convey David Wallace at his best. Admittedly disjointed and at times unconnected, The Pale King is nevertheless a strong enough vehicle to carry the DFW myth and, more importantly, earns enough literary points to garner the title `a good read.'