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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Summer Reading Redux    

I have picked up David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest again. After a discussion with a college friend and rabid Wallace fan, and a work chat with some co worker's defending the book, I realized I kind of missed the massive tome and am digging in. I have updated myself on the rules of Eschaton. I have reviewed the Infinite Jest notes and speculation at Howling Fantods and the scene by scene analysis . I haven't gone out and purchased the official reader's guide. Now don't get me wrong. This isn't like something by Pynchon that is so deep you can't fathom it. It is mostly a funny look at American Society, an impending war with Canada in the near future and a pack of rabid paraplegic terrorists. And it is unlike anything read before. Wallace has tossed out most rules for plot. Don't look for the traditional story arch of exposition, conflict, denoument and conclusion. It isn't in there. And don't look for many of the sub plots to ever come together. That is not what it is about. It is about entertaining and addiction and you become addicted when reading the book and are entertained along the way, always looking for more, not unlike the characters looking for a new wonder drug. And it is long. 900 + pages plus 200+ pages of endnotes. (hysterical and insightful endnotes, might I add.) I figure three or four months on this book. I read most of it before but never did finish it - in all honesty, it wasn't the books fault that I didn't finish the feat. So, wish me luck, I am going back into the deep water. I just finished the 800+ page book on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but this isn't even in the same library as Infinite Jest. Hold on to your horses.