Infinite Jest: Infinite Joke on Us

Infinite Jest: Infinit Joke on Us by Ron Steinman

Ten years ago on its 10th anniversary, I opened “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace with the good intention of reading it. After many weeks of trying, I quit at one hundred pages. I found the book an impossible reading experience. Now ten years later, I reopened the book on its 20th anniversary in the hope that I would read it in full. No such luck. I quit after 277 pages, leaving more than 600 pages unread. I know there are those who believe the book is the work of genius, groundbreaking as no other book before it. Though it echoes Joyce, even Melville, maybe Gaddis, Pynchon and a host of other bloated, dense books, it is baggy and over-written as if the words had landed against an empty page with a thud to spread without a net to reel them in. Worse, not one character has any redeeming qualities. Though 20 years old, it is probably still textbook perfect in its description of drugs, the taking of drugs, drug addicts and its details about the world of junior tennis and how drugs and tennis intersect. All that aside,I cared nothing about anything in the book. I closed it and placed it on a bottom shelf where it will sit undisturbed and collect time guaranteed dust.


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