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Jack Waters I named my car after the Peemster. Has anyone read this on a Kindle Paperwhite? I'd like to know how easy the footnote navigation would be with this particular touchscreen Kindle. Beyond the ease with which one can look-up footnotes, consider the following: a It is a …more Infinite Jest is the perfect book for the Kindle Paperwhite.

Beyond the ease with which one can look-up footnotes, consider the following: a It is a weighty text that is difficult to carry around, as well as just hold and read, in its printed forms. While I appreciate that devotees of IJ have lugged unabridged dictionaries along with the IJ volume itself, it is not something I could have managed.

Moreover, words I never new existed pop up with sufficient frequency that looking them up in a separate volume would be both disruptive to the books narrative flow and significantly increase the amount of time needed to read this book. The Kindle allows you to just press on the unknown word to get a definition. The Kindle "X-ray" feature allows you to click on a character's name and get a brief summary to refresh your recollection of the character or plot development.

I would have found it impossible to read IJ, despite how appealing I find it, without the advantages offered by reading it on the Kindle. See all 44 questions about Infinite Jest…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters.

Sort order. Shelves: fiction , united-states , arizona , boston , speculative-fiction. All rise. JUDGE: Mr Wise, you appear before the court today on the charge of failing to adore Infinite Jest , an act in gross and flagrant violation of basic Goodreads standards of decency. How do you plead? If found guilty, the maximum sentence I can hand down is Kill him! Burn the heretic! Like in Perry Mason? Do you have any evidence to present in your defence, worm? Well, to be completely honest, my heart began to sink from the very first page.

Defence Exhibit A — the opening: I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies. My posture is consciously congruent to the shape of my hard chair [ My fingers are mated into a mirrored series of what manifests, to me, as the letter X. I submit I was justified in feeling immediate concern that the prose is awkward, unlovely, and try-hard, with outbreaks of horrendous juvenile alliteration. The opening section is clearly narrated by a precocious child genius, making the tone entirely appropriate. And I was definitely willing to go along with that. On the few occasions when he attempts social dialects beyond his own — including a few passages of extremely ill-advised colloquial Ebonics — it sounds more like a grotesque parody than any serious attempt at a socially inclusive writing style.

Beyond the scope. Answer the question. The writing style is certainly innovative, but mainly in the sense that he sounds stilted and infelicitous in ways that no one has come up with before. I hate the sloppy attempt in general to use exaggerated colloquialisms as a deliberate style — this habit he has of rambling vaguely around a topic for several paragraphs in the hope that one of his phrases will hit home. I like writers who craft and refine their thoughts before typing them out, not during. Overall I just felt there was a horrible uncertainty of tone, the narrative voice channel-hopping compulsively from slangy to highly mannered to jargonistic, often within the same sentence.

Or were you perhaps just put off by all the long words? I love complicated books with gigantic, exuberant vocabularies. To me he comes across less as an artist with a fat vocabulary than a hack with a fat thesaurus. I can picture it perfectly. WARWICK: I know it seems like nit-picking, but the thing is these little mis-steps here and there all contribute to a general sense that you are not in safe hands.

Hal Incandenza is supposed to be an etymology expert who grew up memorising the OED. Where is the research here? All through the book there is a profound feeling that David Foster Wallace did not really understand the things he was looking up in order to seem clever. Mine quickly evaporated. People who know more about these things than me tell me his maths is equally dodgy. Now contrast all this with a writer like Nabokov or Pynchon, to whom Wallace is sometimes cavalierly compared. The references hold up and they enrich the reading experience.

I totally admit that this is personal preference. I, personally, like writers who craft beautiful sentences. In my opinion, Wallace is just not very good at the level of the sentence, or even of the paragraph. But he can be great over longer distances — at the level of the chapter or long passage. There are several extended sequences of Infinite Jest that have a kind of cumulative power and excitement to them that I admired very much indeed. They were just padded out with far too many passages of inexcusable tedium. I might have done. Yes, I did.

He said one of them was the He recited bits of it out to me in bed and everything. This is ridiculous! He was badgering her! She just got totally badgered! And in the context of this metaphor, a monkey-inflicted dart-wound to the face can be taken as the equivalent of, say, an unforgivably tedious description of a geopolitical tennis game.

Some characters worked better than others. Sighs of relief from public gallery. Second of all, yes some of it worked really well. But again, there is a lack of authorial control. A lot of the violence and stories of drugged-out atrocities start off being genuinely disturbing, but end up going so far that they take on a Grand-Guignol aspect and become too ludicrous to take seriously. Look, I agree that there were parts of this book that I enjoyed very much, of course there were.

This leads me to conclude that they really serve no purpose except to distract from the turgid flabbiness of other sections of the novel. Whose plot, by the way, goes absolutely nowhere — nothing is resolved and no questions are answered. Shouts of anger from public gallery.

Are we ready for sentencing? I have one more witness to call! View all comments. Nov 23, Herbie added it. It's my habit to write on the inside sleeve of a book the words from the text that I can't define or don't understand. Here is the resulting list from the back inside sleeve of Infinite Jest: apocopes bolections reglets dipsomania quincunx varicoceles simpatico aleatory experialist agnate pedalferrous fulvous louvered sangfroid gibbons apercu eidetic murated tumescent recidivism erumpent rutilant hale purled nacelle sulcus imprecated tumbrel comportment scopophobic asperity rapacious afflatus bathetic brachiform strabismic ascapart It's my habit to write on the inside sleeve of a book the words from the text that I can't define or don't understand.

I will post a full review at my blog, meekadjustments. View all 87 comments. While I don't actually have A Favorite Book or Song, or Album, or Band, or Film, or Painting, or Sexual Position, or any other category of things that contain more than one equally great contender Infinite Jest is the first book that immediately comes to mind when the idea of My Favorite Book arises.

As I've already alluded to and partially instantiated in a few scattered places around GoodReads, I feel that I read this book at the right time. The contingent particulars which culminated as the While I don't actually have A Favorite Book or Song, or Album, or Band, or Film, or Painting, or Sexual Position, or any other category of things that contain more than one equally great contender Infinite Jest is the first book that immediately comes to mind when the idea of My Favorite Book arises.

The contingent particulars which culminated as the temporal whole that was My Life converged with my reading of this book rather beautifully. First of all, I had zero knowledge of the book and author before and throughout my reading. I came upon it as a babe in the woods in these regards. I was completely unaware of its popular and largely positive critical reception seven years prior in For this I am grateful.

It's all too easy to hop on the backlash bandwagon when "critical darlings" and "it-people" of the moment emerge on your radar. I take great pains to try to avoid this kind of thing, but it's not easy. I also was juggling a variety of ongoing, confused trains of thought about the basic subjects that the book focuses on—to boil them down as far as relevantly and reasonably possible: Addiction, Entertainment, and Western Culture, specifically that of the modern US of A.

I was also deep in the trenches of "stomach-level sadness. I wanted to do something sad. I'd done some funny stuff and some heavy, intellectual stuff, but I'd never done anything sad. And I wanted it not to have a single main character. The other banality would be: I wanted to do something real American, about what it's like to live in America around the millennium. And what is that like? There's something particularly sad about it, something that doesn't have very much to do with physical circumstances, or the economy, or any of the stuff that gets talked about in the news.

It's more like a stomach-level sadness. I see it in myself and my friends in different ways. It manifests itself as a kind of lostness. Whether it's unique to our generation I really don't know. I'd been confiding some existential angst to him about depression and the exacerbation of said depression with miscellaneous self-medicating behavioral patterns. He responded by solemnly handing me a thick book wrapped in the image of white cumulus clouds imposed upon a bright blue sky. Cut to the summer of I'd just finished my first year of real not community college and was working on the buildings and grounds crew around the campus in exchange for eight dollars an hour and a free room.

I spent the days doing all manner of maintenance and grunt work and my nights poring over this book and dramatically rediscovered the joys of falling head first into a fictional world and the redemptive value of communing with the consciousness of another person through reading and writing. I also found another artist to feel a deep kinship with and solely through the type of communion that is mediated by pulped trees and ink.

Wallace was rather quickly inducted into the ever-expanding and occasionally contracting roster that is my pantheon of personal heroes, and as such also rapidly ascended through the ranks to sit somewhere vaguely near the zenith point again, the trouble with ranking. I was hooked in a big way by the time I hit upon the scene describing the torturously self-conscious, self-doubting thoughts of a cannabis addict named Ken Erdedy.

This was well before the hundredth page mark. It perfectly captured the mind of a hyper-analytic depressive and compulsive THC ingestor. This planning is all being done in the context of desperately attempting to find a way to finally pluck the compulsive behavior getting high from his life—excessive use of the demonized substance is rationalized as the savior, the one thing that will finally make him disgusted enough to quit forever. Frankly, the idea repelled him. Two dry mouths bumping at each other, trying to kiss, his self-conscious thoughts twisting around on themselves like a snake on a stick while he bucked and snorted dryly above her, his swollen eyes red and his face sagging so that its slack folds maybe touch, limply, the folds of her own loose sagging face as it sloshed back and forth on his pillow, its mouth working dryly.

It simply cannot be done. Luckily, many of the people I know who will read this review have already read the novel. So there's a terrible type of rumor that roams around about this book, and Wallace more generally, and these sentiments can be rounded up and boiled down to "It's all PoMo trickery and no heart. So very, very wrong. This is its core, its essence, its fundamental organizing principle. Wallace's desire to write a sorrowful book is fully realized here. Not at all like putting a clown nose on a prisoner being executed or anything—DFW is much more naturally funny than that—but a beautiful balance of the genuinely sad, the genuinely funny and the instances of absurdity where both overlap.

Beneath the hilarious absurdity of things like business corporations annually purchasing the names of the year which is a brilliant gag, by the way there is a massive foundation of stark realism and humanism perched stoically beneath, and it's all just slightly, artfully tweaked in ways that makes you wonder how this or that instance of absurdity is really much different from the absurdity faced in your slice of the non-fictional world that you inhabit.

As far as self-referentiality and the use of metafictional techniques are concerned, I simply see none of it. Nowhere are we "cleverly" "reminded" that we're reading a book—at least not explicitly. This is indisputable. The book is written from a completely third-person perspective, too. This is an important fact to note. There are some relative lulls, like some of the extended descriptions of tennis matches, but on the vastly larger slice of the pie chart the book remains extremely entertaining, thought-provoking, tear-duct-lubing, belly-tickling, soul-massaging, etc.

The scenes at Ennett Recovery House and the AA meetings are flawless and much of it struck me quite strongly as being amazingly insightful and emotionally jarring. Same with Gately. Same with the entire conceptual-metaphorical apparatus behind the notorious film mostly known as "The Entertainment" officially titled Infinite Jest as well as the actual socio-political entanglements that surround it.

Same with the brilliant conversational back 'n' forths between Marathe and Steeply, where some of the greatest insights into the three major themes of the novel occur. Same with Wallace's sheer talent with language, including the coining of highly memorable terms and idioms. There are now two phrases I use around fellow fans of this book when the moment is appropriate: "the howling fantods" in reference to feelings of extreme nervousness and high-strung emotional strain and "to eliminate one's map" in reference to suicide.

I could gush on and on and on and on This all just makes me want to settle into Round Three right this very second and read it all over again—and I just might. Infinite Jest has the quality of slowly unfurling in your memory, which makes sense considering the sheer length, the descriptive depth, and the broad spectrum of content. Each re-exposed detail symbiotically attaches itself into the larger, self-organizing, cumulative memory of how fucking amazing the book was and indeed still is.

When I met the tome's final sentence and finished it off I was left with an amazing set of feelings that's very difficult to describe satisfactorily. Basically, I felt a deep abiding sadness at the fact that it was now finished. I felt a physiological craving confined and radiating within.

I wanted more! More entertainment! More communion. More redemption. More identification. And then as I sat stunned and staring at the final paragraph it hit me: David Foster Wallace wanted the reader to feel this way. He was trying to show people something about themselves, namely that sad, funny, and strange spectacle of continually seeking pleasure and relief. He turned the mirror of the Ennett House upon the reader and captured their reflection and left them with things to think deeply about outside of the book.

My eyes widened and my jaw literally dropped open and the word "Genius" popped into my head, scattering the cognitive noise and bringing me one more brief moment of Thoughtless Bliss. Admittedly, Infinite Jest is a tough book. You start the book having no clue when it is happening and who the various characters are. There is stuff that happens in the opening pages that explains events at the end of the book. I'd say it is quite elliptical. That being said, it is an amazing piece of literature. I forced myself through the first and then pages and at about pages I finally hit my stride and was able to follow through to yes this was the British printing not the Admittedly, Infinite Jest is a tough book.

I forced myself through the first and then pages and at about pages I finally hit my stride and was able to follow through to yes this was the British printing not the American one. I loved the characters and the high comedy that is here as well as all the wacky situations in the drug rehab centre and the tennis academy. The president reminded me a lot of the current American campaign I could almost see the Statue of Liberty carrying a Trump Tower logo across her forehead and the text was occasionally of incredible beauty and insight.

I do not know. But someone sometime let you forget how to choose, and what. Someone let your peoples forget it was the only thing of importance, choosing. And now there is no shelter. And no map for finding the shelter of a temple. And you all stumble about in the dark, this confusion of permissions. A vast swath of Americans are driven by short attention, knee-jerk reactionism based on their inability to choose and their reliance of "alternative facts. Gentle is eerily similar to Drumpf - the coming destruction of Standing Rock by the pipeline from which Drumpf himself - oh, sorry his son - will profit , how is that different from the Concavity?

And I digress An important book for the 21st C! And oh, so relevant! I talked for a few hours to fellow Goodreads reading addict Nocturnalux and tried to get her convinced that this should be on her reading list. It remains for me a landmark work requiring infinite patience to get the reveal of the infinite joke at the end. View all 38 comments. Jan 25, David Beavers rated it it was amazing. I've been waiting, panther-like, for the right combination of caffeine and personal gumption to strike, to attack writing about this, since it really is one of my favorite books ever-ever, and one of the most fascinating things I've ever read.

People like to levy the c I've been waiting, panther-like, for the right combination of caffeine and personal gumption to strike, to attack writing about this, since it really is one of my favorite books ever-ever, and one of the most fascinating things I've ever read. People like to levy the criticism that the book is "sloppy" or "digressive". You think? An page book with pages of small-print footnotes might be a little digressive or indulgent or maddening? It might stray a wee bit into uncharted, dark-woods territory?

There is, in art, what I like to call the "crazy project". Once you go to work on the Crazy Project -- C. You can -- when you are really involved in it, I mean really involved -- scarcely even talk about it; you may not even realize you're involved in it. The C. When working on the C. The marketplace demands "novels" and so people oblige, but there is a difference between a "novel" and a BOOK, and I would consider a book to be more interesting -- if more difficult and less "composed"-- and Infinite Jest is definitely a BOOK, and shouldn't be treated as a "novel" in the same way, say, "Life of Pi" is a novel and I do think Life of Pi is terrific, don't get me wrong.

If you want a beautiful, wildly ambitious, insanely indulgent, uncompromising mind-bending skull-violating MESS, one that comprises an entire Victorian manor of the Crazy Project, then Infinite Jest may well be worth your while. The book is, definitely, a mess, let's not mince words. It is also obsessively-compulsively mathematical in the way that DFW seems to enjoy; there is an order to the chaos, and it did take reading it a second time to pull out some of the exquisitely crafted crystalline plot strands he was working at. The characters in here are terribly tragic, in a real Shakespearian sense the book's title is after all a reference to Hamlet , and their tapestry in this book's pages is as intimate and heartrending as it is vast; this book is a language project but one that remains absolutely invested in the lives of the people involved in that "project".

Infinite Jest is wildly funny and, like I mentioned above, almost unexpectedly moving: there is a kind of veneer between the reader and the characters; they are guarded and stoic people, for the most part, and "getting to know" them can be as frustrating as trying to "get to know" someone in your own life who is guarded and careful with their emotions.

But over the course of hundreds of pages you learn the inner-workings of IJ's huge cast, and their emotional motivations and subtleties begin to resonate with you in ways that dig so deep I think they're almost frightening. This book is dense enough -- to say the least -- that I think you can get out of it whatever you are willing to put into it. Isn't this true of most good art? But the depth here is incredible. It pains me to even go back and read this review -- "one of the most fascinating authors alive".

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I can reliably drop the last word of that now. DFW's suicide still stings like no other artist for me. I do know I'm not alone there, a lot of people who admire his work feel it. We were robbed -- it's selfish, incredibly so, but so is suicide. Objectively, I still think Girl With Curious Hair is probably the best place to start, but I didn't start there, I started here, and it worked out okay.

Just know this is a glorious mess, be patient with it, the book wants to be your daddy, but you have to be its daddy, let it teach you as you guide it it -- it's a living thing, this book, all the more precious now. View all 17 comments. Apr 23, Fabian rated it liked it. Anybody who completes "Infinite Jest" automatically receives a medal! Just read every single fuh-cking! A badge of honor. Bragging rights. A Privilege. The experience which is so much like ogling the Mona Lisa live at the Louvre for the first time: you can already envision her in your mind.

The literary equivalent of chasing the magi Anybody who completes "Infinite Jest" automatically receives a medal! The literary equivalent of chasing the magic dragon. Just keeping at something--this being a very complex and cranial novel--like some zombie to get you absolutely nowhere. This is like a more insufferable Beckett in that at least Beckett's implaus-o-ramas have an ending.

But here, get ready to get nowhere. Nowhere, not fast, but slowwwly.


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  • Moments of "Eureka! I've found something concrete at last Finally, a location upon which to hang"--it's all very brief [ha! Like some interesting but fleeting aroma. The premise? That we live in a systematic place where components are controlled by family, substances, life. The back and forth between the school and the rehab embody a game of tennis emblematic "system" used to symbolize coming-of-age as well as the myriad needlepoint philosophies that go with it.

    No patterns arise! Yet the reader has always his wants. That you don't matter in the enterprise is what ultimately spoils this experience for me. The writer has very consciously tried to build a sturdy monolithic castle from individual grains of dry sand. An impossible endeavor, but it must be witnessed. The things that stick out are the sordid details: the head in the microwave, the shot in the face; the molestation of little boys, of invalids; a hanging fetus. If you say I. Definitely not in pages! But maybe eighty-eight.

    Bottom line: this novel really gave me a serious case of the "howling fantods. View all 49 comments. Shaun Great review, Fabian. Thank you! Jul 06, PM. The bad news is, you Have to read it again. But when the book is Infinite Jest, then it deserves every iota of praise bestowed upon it. You need to examine a life, which was left unexamined for a long time.

    Day of finishing Infinite Jest Jan 25, at around hrs, I finished reading this book, closed it and put it aside. That pierces you, makes you think you're going to die. Day of starting reading Infinite jest There was a sudden knock on the door. I woke up with a start and reluctantly went to open the door. An adolescent boy promptly asked, "Do you want to get entertained? Few hours passed but again my sleep broke on hearing some loud cheering. I went out and much to my surprise there was a whole tennis court in front of me and two players were busy playing.

    There was a group of boys snorting coke sitting round the corner and on the opposite stands, some kind of class was going on. I looked at the score board: Wal and Fed. Wal was apparently leading with , , Somebody tapped on my shoulder. He was the same boy. This time he handed me a book. I took it and immediately lost my balance. The alarm of my cell phone went off at that precise moment and welcomed me back to reality. Once the feeling of vertigo subsided, I checked the date.

    December 1, I said to myself, Of course! The days in between Over the period of almost two months, I read IJ every day. Having read Girl with curious hair and A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again I experienced both fiction and non-fiction writing by Wallace and loved it. It proved to be a boon because if nothing else, the disjointed stories in IJ were something like short stories from Girl There was something that made him work for me, which not only provided enjoyment but became a great source of knowledge and it won't be an exaggeration to say that I have found a book that shall remain with me both physically and emotionally throughout this modest and unexciting life of mine.

    Infinite Jest is not a work of a genius. He created a world that was consistently dark, desolate and most of the times demented but also witty, ingenious and oh so funny. This magnum opus is incredibly challenging but at the same time surprisingly accessible. Wallace took the most wretched situations and characters and created such amazing backdrops, that in spite of everything so seemingly hopeless, he would still be able to present you with a glimpse of hope. In face of lot of desperate moves, he would teach you a lesson or two in patience. With so many impossibilities going on one after the other, he would tell what all is possible if one try to do just one thing: Realize.

    His prose is exuberant with less scope of comfort. He has employed an allegorical structure to this novel and develops it to an extraordinary proportion taking cues from many of his influences namely Joyce, Pynchon, Shakespeare and Dante to name a few. The setting for majority of the narration is based at Enfield Tennis Academy ETA and Ennet House, a drug and alcohol recovery house, where majority of the interesting characters reside, situating nearby ETA. ETA was founded by James. Incandenza, an avant-garde film maker, whose wife, Avril Incandenza heads the academy with their 2 sons, Mario and Hal being the current attendees of the ETA while their eldest brother, Orin being a previous attendee, now a punter in the NFL.

    Orin is a jerk, Mario is great and Hal is lonely. Avril is beautiful, very tall and delusional about her kids; James was taller, committed suicide and knew his kids just too well. The quest of finding the master copy of this entertainment marks the entry of a group of Quebecois separatists in the book, known as Les Assassins des Fauteuils Rollents a. R, who wants to obtain a copy, which they called Samizdat , because of its lethal qualities that would make them dangerously powerful to meet their extremist goals.

    This group gave me creeps. The book is mostly covered with Wallace commentary about drug addiction through myriad eccentric and bizarre characters at the Ennet House. Wallace presents the intake of drugs, its effects and substance withdrawal i. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise.

    Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i. The variable here is the other terror, the fire's flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It's not desiring the fall; it's terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling 'Don't! Not really. You'd have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.

    With drugs and depression, there are AA meetings and telling of stories, some of which are so despicably ugly and dismal that it would make you think that you were better off without reading them. Then of course there is tennis and the pressure this competitive game induces on young minds but also tells how a thin line exists that separates Tennis with real life: Tennis's beauty's infinite roots are self-competitive. You compete with your own limits to transcend the self in imagination and execution.

    Disappear inside the game: break through limits: transcend: improve: win. At ETA, through characters like Hal and Michael Pemulis, one gets the picture of how youngsters so easily resort to wrong paths, which could adversely affect their coming lives a sample of which could be witnessed through Ennet House residents. At Ennet House, characters like Don Gately convey that despite being wrongdoers, they are good human beings at heart and are just a product of godforsaken circumstances amidst which they were born and at the same house there are people like Randy Lenz who are nothing less than a personification of devil.

    From IJ, one gets a fitting impression of David's capability and scope as a writer. There could be nothing more challenging in picking the most undesired and ugly elements of the universe and weave them together and creating characters and situations of such unbelievable contrast that the end product dwelling them makes even a stone heart to wail in sympathy or reach a point of such profound epiphany that brings a huge turn around in your life.

    The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

    The world around you changes for better or for worse. I admit that there was not much I could relate with in great depth but there was a benign captivation about the whole text. If you learn to like his writing, you will love everything written by him, well almost everything. I know they were mainly attributed to various characters, but again, in a book so huge, the margin of error automatically increases, which could easily be neglect during editing too.

    So instead of sifting such errors out, Wallace made them the part of his work. One thing I can confidently say about his writing is that in this book, his prose though seemingly reckless at times, is an intentional move on his part. Agreed that most of the topics covered had some deep connection with David personal life but that's exactly it makes it all the more brilliant as we get to read someone who had a lucid and precise view of what he had to say.

    A blogger rightly commented: So many of his critics never realized the writer's relentless and extravagant prose was a deliberate and incredibly risky attempt to present reality as he experienced it, which was so vast and multi-layered as to make sharing it with another person who was experiencing a similar influx, an astonishing feat. Infinite Jest, among many things is homage to sobriety, happiness, loneliness, sadness and truth. For some, staying sober is happiness and for some feeling is happiness. Some will be happy in knowing the truth and some, in telling of the truth.

    The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. It's like watching a reality sit-com over a surveillance camera , is one concise description I particularly like. A work of literature that was born to become immortal and shall teach you what all can be done with words and what power lies within the realm of writing. My reading experience was more or less steady and enriching. Before referring to external sources, I wanted to put together as many pieces of this bizarre puzzle at their right places.

    It was getting unbearable somehow. One would carry one thing or the other out of it. There are many loose ends that are not being tied, may be because they are meant to be honored in isolation. The whole thing would turn up as fogged mirror, which only you can clean to see an image, either unbearably beautiful or unbearably ugly. Till that time, live accordingly to the image you want to see at the end. I'm so glad that this book exists. That's if there's any time left after I finish my rant.

    A lot of listeners ask me about my namesake. What about that other Ian Graye, you say. The one on GoodReads. What do you think of him? And what did you think of his recent review of David Foster Wallace's magnum opus? Well, let me reassure you: that other Ian Graye is a wanker. He is a post-capitalist lapdog of the tamest and most ineffectual kind. This is what he would say, if he had the guts. He can wallow in pretension. IJ is a dogs breakfast. Nobody has actually read it from cover to cover.

    Nobody has understood it on its own terms. The sooner there is something that is post-postmodernism that we can get our hands and minds and kindles and iPatches on the better. Postmodernism was invented so that nerds could take money off other nerds. Meanwhile, the rest of the world can eat, drink, snort, smoke, dance, party and have sex regardless and in spite of the postmodernist nerdfest going down, down, down in the library.

    Length Surely, it is enough to state the length of this book to condemn it. If an author has 1, pages in them, then write four novels of pages each. Can Sting possibly be any better on the fourth day of his tantric sex than he is on the first? What is the point? To achieve a target for the Guinness Book of Records? For as soon as you break the record, somebody else will want to beat you and your record will last for, how long, one year, at most?

    Repetition In a book that long, there must surely be a lot of repetition of themes and subject matter, if not dialogue and actual words. As for a book whose ending simply takes you back to the beginning? That's not what I call recycling. Recycling is the yellow bin. Or, wishful thinking for charities, two copies sitting side by side in a second hand book store.

    Self-Indulgence See my comment about Sting. Beyond that, I risk being guilty of the post-modern crime of repetition. In fact, I might already be guilty. How ironic. Is there any literal meaning that is not implied? Surely, DFW meant everything his words implied. Therefore, they are not incongruous, they are deliberate and congruous.

    This is starting to sound like that other Ian Graye, so I will stop. Playfulness OK, so they play tennis in this book. So what? And so what if he plays with our minds? How can you control something as gargantuan and prolix as this? It plays with our minds, because it played with his. If he had won the game, it would have been a shorter, sharper, better book and a more pleasant experience for us.

    There is a reason tennis has a tie-breaker. IJ needed a tie-breaker. Around pages. Black Humor I like black humor, white humor and Jewish humor. But I hope I do eventually. Intertextuality I mean, are you serious? Did the English language really need this word? Did it have to be imported from France or Italy, or wherever? Any graduate student can do this. We used to call it cheating. As for cliches, we were taught to eschew them in my day.

    DFW uses truckloads of cliches, mostly old ones, but many new ones of his own creation. How pathetic. There are nearly as many cliches in IJ as there are in Hamlet. I mean, "To be, or not to be", if Shakespeare was half the writer he's supposed to be or not to be , he would have steered clear of that old chestnut.

    Pastiche Once again, write your own bloody book. Sampling is cheating. Metafiction Another word created by postmodernists for postmodernists. A club for us and not for you. Anybody who can write should strive for a home and a boat, better still, a houseboat. Write a blog. Do your pathetic little reviews on GoodReads. Or pathetically long reviews, in the case of my namesake.

    A distinction without a difference.

    A high distinction without a job prospect. Poioumena This word makes me want to vomit. It's inconsonant. Historiographic Metafiction Another one. This would have been edited out of the wiki article if anybody knew what it meant or had the guts. If this term was a dog, it would be put down. In fact, this term is a dog. Temporal Distortion It gets worse. In a word, drugs. Nobody used this language when the poison of choice was alcohol. Magic Realism All the best drugs come from South America. Say no more. Technoculture and Hyperreality Doof doof. Unless you count microwaves and whatever they played the cartridges on.

    And, I mean, who remembers cartridges? IJ is a conspiracy by the paper manufacturing industry to consume paper, put it inside a hard cover and never let it see the light of day. Yes, a paranoid conspiracy, I know, but guess what, it worked. Minimalism A big word for a little idea. Incongruous, if not ironic, I know. Well, that's about it from me. Let me leave you with one more serious thought. Party at my place. Come on. Whatever will be will be. And whatever will not be will not be. That is the answer and there's the rub.

    Thanks, Bill. Can I have my bottle back now, please? Oh, is that the time? Let's cross to Rupert for the news. I thought I might try to express some of them, both negative and positive. The above review is my attempt at a negative review. My positive reviews are mentioned below. Jul 15, Kemper rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi , , future-is-now , famous-books. I should have hated this book.

    Plus, 96 goddamn pages of endnotes. No matter what weird detours it took, I was more than happy to just keep turning pages like one of those poor suckers who got snared by The Entertainment. Wallace did something unique and crazy with this, and he had the talent to make it work. They are completely out of control. View all 18 comments.

    Aug 26, Mike Puma rated it liked it Shelves: The Gang of 59 Who is this Gang of 59? The Year of the Interrogatory Paragraph So what happened? How is it that my reading experience differed so dramatically from the Gang? The Year of the Foot, Noted The footnotes quickly became an additional source of annoyance. The Year of Excessive Excess So what else bugs you? There are 2 kinds of difficult novels: those that you don't enjoy while reading, but you genuinely enjoying having read, and those that you only enjoy while reading because the small picture stuff is infinitely better than the novel as a whole.

    Infinite Jest is one of the latter, and I think that's why people never really stop reading it; it's only good while you're reading it. You finish and then start right over again, trying to piece things together until you create something in your mind that slightly makes sense of it all. Yes, I've gone back and read the first chapter after finishing it. Yes, I understand the chronology. Yes, I've read all the theories online. I get what probably happened, but how did it happen?

    Why did it happen? How did those strings and threads of story and plot actually come together? The answer is: they didn't. If I have to construct a way for all of this brilliant stuff to come together myself, it means that the author never did. It's just a hand-wavy sort of "oh and then stuff happened and then the end" cop-out. There are threads in this book that insinuate all kinds of things, meaning that you can find evidence to setup any sort of ending that your heart desires, and it's just as valid as anyone else's theories, because there is no actual ending.

    Think Hal in that first chapter is actually Mario pretending to be Hal? They're both described as fire hydrant shaped, maybe he was. Or maybe none of that, because there isn't an ending, so we do not and will not ever know what actually happened. DFW created a piece of entertainment that once read, leaves the reader only wanting to read it again and again and again and again.

    It is an Infinite Jest. Again, the brilliant stuff is so brilliant that I still enjoyed it immensely, and have to give this 5 stars, and I get that postmodernism is all about ontological vs. View all 12 comments. I've finally reached the end of this amazing book.

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    It's not an easy read, but after a while you discover that there are good reasons why it has to be the way it is. The review is the mini-blog I kept while I was reading it. It sort of contains spoilers: I don't give away very much about the plot, but I do spend a lot of time speculating about what the overall point of the book is. So if that kind of thing bothers you, you probably shouldn't read on. Read Infinite Jest instead, then come back and I've finally reached the end of this amazing book. View all 66 comments. And Lo, for the Earth was empty of form, and void.

    And Darkness was all over the Face of the Deep. And We said: Look at that fucker Dance Real life is a pain. Real life is a bitch. Real life slumps you together from a squiggly mess and shoots you out to a cold and unfeeling world, empty in mind and soul. So you scrounge around for meaning, whatever fulfills your personal definition of said meaning , eyes gaping for that next slice of indomitable thrills and chills, mouth pincering over a statue in And Lo, for the Earth was empty of form, and void. So you scrounge around for meaning, whatever fulfills your personal definition of said meaning , eyes gaping for that next slice of indomitable thrills and chills, mouth pincering over a statue in repose, your next served up fresh and toasty piece of Entertainment ready and waiting to fulfill your infinitesimal spout of pure pleasure.

    And always you forget the trap, that whatever may keep your brain in thrall doesn't necessarily do anything for your heart, and you fill that deceivingly compact skull of yours with a weave of disappointed memories of the past and existential dread concerning the future.

    You don't even need to know what 'existential' means, it'll latch on to your cranium and enjoy itself in your spent neurons just as well. Knowing the word just makes your coping mechanisms developed in response to living seem a little more validated. DFW knew this. Not only did he know this, he was courageous enough to proclaim that he knew this from the highest rooftop, spilling out a novel that scoffs, declaims, and drowns the old conventions of making life this easy whore that only requires adherence to paper to make itself completely tangible and understandable in every way.

    Newsflash: That is Entertainment, Entertainment with a capital E, followed by the Infinite Jest, long lines of seconds bleeding themselves dry with gags, jokes, puns, witty remarks, comedic outbursts, impressive logistical maneuverings of physical feats, "I got that reference! It is not Life. We live in a country in continuous denial, this United States of ours, where the words "depression" and "suicide" are met with brief uneasy titters and a quick skittering to the nearest source of short stem happiness.

    I mean, really. Who could possibly be unsatisfied in this First World conglomerate of ours, where the water is cheap and the food cheaper, everything clean and crisp and catered and tailored and custom built for even the most persnickety of personalities? Oh, you say you're not feeling well? Well, your temperature's drawn up at the right line, your lungs are clear of fluid, no physical aches to be registered on any limb or crevice. No need for a tox screen, it's obvious that since you are athletic and intelligent and your family is well adjusted, it's impossible that you would even consider recreational drugs.

    The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson book review

    It just wouldn't make sense. And when these people are forced up close to those with intimate knowledge of the difference between hip-ennui and 'It'; the obvious mismatch of an unsatisfactory sex life and a rabid Spider masquerading as your own Personal Nightmare that has somehow escaped the sewers and lodged itself in your frontal lobe. A hawk in the sky and a handsaw on the nightstand. These people, they shame the "psychotically depressed", they box the sufferers up in a cynical outlook that doesn't allow them to treat their condition seriously, and the barest glimpse of a true outburst of "feeling" is quickly carted away and shut up in the walls of their own imagined loony bin.

    You call attempted suicides "Cries for Attention", after refusing to listen to anything else. And don't blame this on the availability of therapy. That's another bucket of worms entirely. So what does the average, normal, not "psychotically depressed" individual do? Well, they have been blessed with a stable brain chemistry that is sufficiently satisfied with their addictions, enough to never entertain any ideas of going off the deep end, physically or otherwise. Course, they may feel the niggle of something not being right in their daily scheme, one that is vaguely persistent but easily squashed with another movie, another book, another morning run, another sandwich, another drink, another shot, another shooting up, another beating, another brown out, another black out, another spree of giving linear time the finger.

    It's hardly fair to complain about nonlinear narratives when you seem so desperate to avoid the concept yourself. Life is a mess of half remembered instances and disjointed narratives, stream of conscious not being very concerned for its very few spectators. What good is a writing a novel portraying Life, if its main goal is to make sense?