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Oblivion (May 2012)
This month's book club selection is David Foster Wallace's
. This'll be the first DFW work I've ever read, but I've heard nothing but glowing praise for the author's works, particularly
. What do people think of this book/Wallace generally?
Huh, never read and DFW myself either, mostly cuz I got so much else on my plate and his stuff is so goddamned long. But I might give this one a shot.
As I said elsewhere, I read "A Supposedly Fun Thing..." and kind of found it to be like someone had read Hunter S. Thompson and thought it was really cool and decided to try it out. Fear And Loathing On A Cruise Ship. The Illinois State Fair Is Decadent And Depraved. I mean, it was good stuff, I just felt like I'd already read quite a lot of it.
I first heard of DFW when he died and then heard further when they posthumously published The Pale King. According to the radio interviews discussing him, they recommended starting with his essays if new to him. Started with A Supposedly Fun Thing... which is brilliant.
I moved from those to Oblivion, which blew my mind. A warning though. The Mr Squishy story is not a good starting point. Muscle through it. Also the titular story is probably my least favorite.
Out of the stories, The Soul is not a Smithy is my favorite and to me is what PoPoMo is all about (in my limited experience). Love the Kafkaesque description of his father's workplace described in a dream and it ends suddenly like most of his shorts but still finishes perfectly (as in completeness).
I have only got through 100 pages so far of Infinite Jest as it is So Much Harder in my opinion than the stories in Oblivion or The Pale King.
Anything said about his style has already been said by experts. Anyway, apologies Jon and co. if you find it in any way trudging, but I find every difficult sentence gets payed back 10-fold if you put the effort in.
I read 25 pages or so of "Mr. Squishy" today. It hurt me severely. I will continue!
I'm sorry. I had to re-read lots of those paragraphs and still didn't get what was going on. Stick it out until The Soul is Not a Smithy at the very least.
Who wants to talk about this one with me? I'll have time to record about this next week.
I'm down if there aren't any other takers.
Yaaaay! Just let me know when you're done reading.
You know, I would. But it's not probably technically possible unless we do something with time zones and Skype on cell phones.
Out of interest, did you ever get to rereading Catch-22, Jon?
I did. Podcast goes up tomorrow.
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