Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace REVIEW

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace book cover

A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America. Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human—and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do. Paperback, 1088 pages Published 2005 by Back Bay Books (first published February 1st 1996)​ Current GoodReads Rating: 4.32 Stars



My review could either end there or be pages long. For anyone who has read this...

slow clap

Bravo!…an applause is definitely needed. This took me over two months to get through, not just because it was almost as long as the bible, but because of its content. It never once held my attention or had me wanting to keep reading. I trudged through this book because my father-in-law (FIL) gifted it to me after he found out I enjoyed reading with a note in the cover claiming I was his favorite daughter-in-law (I'm his only daughter-in-law). He bragged about how philosophical this author was as well as asking me for weekly updates about what I thought of it.

After I finished reading this and told my FIL the good news, he let me know he was proud of me because he had never made it all the way through...which had me cringing. I could have not suffered through learning how to call in sick from work, set my voice mails, then arrange my munchies in order to prepare for a week long smoking session or how to blowup my head in the microwave, how to not feel guilty for walking into a house after my friend blew his head up and realize he made me feel hungry because he smelt good, and finally how to realize the difference between needing to poop and fart while out on the baseball field. I imagine I'm only highlighting some of the stupider points to this book, but it sums up that a month after finishing the book, which points stuck with me.

I'm disappointed and upset that I wasted so much time on this book. I would not recommend this author or this book to anyone. I do remember there were a few timeless points made about the changes in society that might be the reason some people do like this book so much. Some of his analogies have already come into fruition like the creation of the smart phone leading to more plastic surgery because people had to start looking at themselves for so long when face timing they grew more self-conscious. It just feels like those points could have been made in a book more than half this size. There was too much nothingness in between his better points that took away from what should have been focused on.

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