Saturday, January 2, 2016

Review: Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I certainly feel a sense of accomplishment after reading this one. It had been sitting on my shelf for years, taunting me with its excessive vocabulary. I thought I'd be able to get it done during some extra time off I had after Thanksgiving. I'm not sure if it was naivete or hubris that allowed me to think that would be enough time to get through it all. Normally, I read one or two books a week. It took me over a month to finish this one. Here's what you need to know if you want to tackle this: You're going to want to be in some sort of zen reading mode. There are a lot of characters and the timeline doesn't always progress in the way you might like it to go. It will be very easy to get frustrated and give up if you don't just go with it and let the story carry you along. Back story and plot details will eventually make themselves known, it just might take hundreds of pages. You'll need to be able to concentrate on this, you can't just passively read. There are 100 pages of end notes. Some of these notes are chapters long and have their own footnotes. The sentences can be paragraphs long and the paragraphs can go on for pages. If your attention span is not in the right place, this book will chew you up and spit you out. The last tip I can offer, have a dictionary or dictionary app handy. You'll swear he's making up some of his words but he's not and it is fun to get to know them.

Good luck.

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