25 books finished in 2012: A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

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Why are you reading this book?
DFW is a BFD to certain circles of people, so I was curious.

What is the first line?
When I left my boxed township of Illinois farmland to attend my dad’s alma mater in the lurid jutting Berkshires of western Massachusetts, I all of a sudden developed a jones for mathematics.

Describe the book in haiku form:
Is this neurotic
or refreshingly honest?
I am so confused.

What will you do with it now?
keep for reference
x keep and loan out to friends x return to my housemate x
keep to read again & again & again
post to paperbackswap.com
throw it away

Anything else you’d like to say?
I found Wallace’s rambling, self-reflective, let-me-interrupt-myself-to-tell-you-another-story-about-something-totally-unrelated style to be alternately refreshing (for someone who tends to ramble) and tiring.

Also, there was a parallel theme running from the last book I finished – Mid-Westerner moves away, to East Coast or Europe, then returns home to make fun of those left behind. And it feels particularly icky to me because I’m one of those people, who moved from the Mid-West to the East and has no desire to return. Though, does everyone make fun of their hometown?

David Foster Wallace is not afraid to talk about his feelings. He talks about them A LOT, though in a veiled way that lets you know there’s a lot going on that he’s not sharing, perhaps because it would scare you. He also talks about how awkward and uncomfortable he is. It’s usually funny, but by the end of the book I mostly pitied him. (I’m pretty sure I felt this way even before researching his personal story.)

So, to wrap it up, I enjoyed parts of the book more than I expected to, but I probably won’t pick up Wallace again any time soon.

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2 thoughts on “25 books finished in 2012: A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

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