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David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

I’ve categorised this as a review, but it’s not strictly one… More of a preview, really, and an update on what I’ll be reading over the coming weeks and months.

I’ve just embarked upon the journey that is reading this tome. At almost 1100 pages of small type face and reduced margins it’s easily the longest book I’ve read in my life to date, and I have no desire to even contemplate tackling it all in one go, as I think I’d probably go insane attempting to do so.

But it’s certainly a case of ‘So far, so good’ at this point: The bit I’ve read of it so far appears to be absolutely excellent – the second chapter is possibly the best, most accurate, and most linguistically skilled chapters of any book I can remember.

For the near future, as my first interruption to Infinite Jest, I intend to give my brain a rest and Dan ‘dull and predicable’ Brown another chance to attempt to impress, as he so utterly failed earlier this year with Angels and Demons and the now ubiquitous The Da Vinci Code. I’m almost hoping it will be another ‘450 pages of irritatingly gripping tosh’, as I’m just feeling ready for something like that right now.

We’ll see how this all plays out.

In the mean-time, if you want to buy a copy of Infinite Jest at a very competitive price (very possibly the best on the ‘net), then you know where to click. For a gentle reminder, move your eyes to the right, slightly. It might seem quite expensive, but you have to remember that it is (by my guestimate) almost two-and-a-half inches thick. So it’s not going to fit through your letterbox, just to warn you in advance.

You can expect a review of one of the above a few weeks from now, and the other a few years from now – or so it seems – so keep your browser firmly locked on to sjhoward.co.uk

This 484th post was filed under: Book Club.

Some recently published posts

Reflecting on my first ten years as a doctor / June 2019, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Californian taxis, gun ownership and democracy / May 2019, 9 minutes long

The assassination of JFK / May 2019, 6 minutes long

Crossing the US-Mexico border / May 2019, 10 minutes long

Some random old posts

A tale of 500,000 illegal immigrants / July 2005, 3 minutes long

Live drama takes BBC back to brave old world / April 2005, Less than a minute long

Desktop app of the week: Papers 2 / May 2012, 3 minutes long

Blair the Greek / September 2006, 2 minutes long

2D: Being late / September 2013, 2 minutes long

A classic Sun front page / January 2007, 1 minute long


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