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David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

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 post was filed under: Book Club.

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