Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Moving Right Along

I know you are all just DYING to hear how I am doing with Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, so here it is. I finally made it past the halfway point (currently on p. 557), and I have a good grasp on the storylines and how to follow them, as well as where we might be going in the story. It's very good, just the type of book where you have to really sit down and read for at least an hour at a time to get a section done and comprehend it (I will use "section" instead of "chapter" because there are no chapters). This, plus the fact that I've always got several books going at once, accounts for the slow rate it is moving. I'm also going to predict: I will be reading it again someday. There is just too much going on to get the first time. On the whole, it is captivating like a train wreck, but less morally questionable to look at.

There are storylines regarding: a filmmaker/founder of a tennis academy and his family who live and go to school at said academy; the students of the school; the Boston AA/NA underground (itself involving numerous people); US and Canada relations; two guys who must have a purpose that remains to be seen; and several random stories about people which will hopefully be explained later.

Here are some highlights, just enough to interest my readers without giving away any of the story (there are a lot of gratifying moments when you say "Oh wow, I wish I knew that sooner, but I'm so glad I didn't!"). I'm hoping this will interest someone else enough to read it, so that we may converse.
  • P. 223: heard it was an important, bookmark-able page. It is.
  • P. 384: "First US President ever to use 'boss' as an adjective."
  • Footnote 178: "Don't worry about getting in touch with your feelings, they'll get in touch with you."
  • I've learned many awesome, pretty much un-usable vocabulary words: eschatology, anfractuous, felo de se, fantods, lachrymose, cartioid...and many more!
  • P. 442: Best fictional name for an AA group ever: Tough Shit But You Still Can't Drink Group
  • The non-word "irregardless" has been used twice. That makes me uncomfortable. Well done, Wallace.
  • Sometime in February: I decide to forgo IJ on a car trip for the slighty easier Cosmo magazine
  • Footnote 134: we are casually updated on the outcome of an important character's actions from a previous, seemingly unrelated section. That's how the whole book is; plot points are more or less hinted at, rather than given to you directly.
Well, I hope you find this new information useful in case you are going to read Infinite Jest, and if so, please let me know! It is a lonely world over here.


Mark said...

I tried to read it some time ago and had to set it aside. Reading should be more fun, not plodding hard work. It is cool that he was in a relationship with Mary Karr, who's one of my fave writers.

Here's a review of a new biography of him, based on tapes from his IJ book tour:


ardie said...

Ohh thank you. It's good to get info on him...I've been putting it off because a few sites I've found about the book in particular might have unintentional spoilers (like people who finished it discussing it and whatnot).

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