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The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

The Pale King (edition 2011)

by David Foster Wallace

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Title:The Pale King
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The Pale King by David Foster Wallace



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» See also 60 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
"It's the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish." ( )
  kwbridge | Sep 6, 2014 |
An interesting read, but hard to stay with, over the long haul. ( )
  DougJ110 | Jul 12, 2014 |
Wonderful. Infinite Jest was an addictive book about addiction, and many have described this as an occasionally boring book about boredom ... but it never dragged for me. Disjointed, yes, but then if the author died a fraction of the way through, why wouldn't it be? A perfect paean to the office drone, read in snatches between my own fluorescently-lit shifts. Who knows how brilliant the finished article would have been? ( )
  alexrichman | Jul 8, 2014 |
Awful book. Marked it as read because, after struggling through so much pointless repetition, considering it done made about as much sense as the editor patching this junk together and calling it a novel. ( )
  marti.booker | Dec 2, 2013 |
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said more eloquently? I can tell you that it was, at times, laugh out loud funny, deeply touching, and sometimes confounding. It's a book that was far from finished (as evidenced by the notes at the end) but reads quite smoothly and is only a bit more disjointed than some of his finished works.

For me (and many others), DFW's work explores what it means to be alive, to be human in this day and age. He raises questions about what is worth our time to think about, to entertain ourselves and the nature of the world. DFW continues to do so in The Pale King at a very high level, at times surpassing Infinite Jest.

I feel like this review is getting a bit hamfisted.

Let me just say that this book is accessible to long time fans of DFW and first time readers. The sadness and hilarity contained within should resonate with damn near everyone.

( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Unfinished or no, it’s worth reading this long, partly shaped novel just to get at its best moments, and to ponder what Wallace, that excellent writer, would have done with the book had he had time to finish it himself.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Apr 1, 2011)
'By turns breathtakingly brilliant and stupefying dull — funny, maddening and elegiac — “The Pale King” will be minutely examined by longtime fans for the reflexive light it sheds on Wallace’s oeuvre and his life.'
added by GYKM | editNew York Times, Machiko Kakutani (Mar 31, 2011)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Foster Wallaceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pietsch, MichaelEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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We fill pre-existing forms and when we fill them we change them and are changed. - Frank Bidart, Borges and I
First words
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lamb's-quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nut-grass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spine-cabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in the morning breeze like a mother's soft hand on your cheek.
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Book description
Le roi pâle est le plus beau roman de D.F Wallace .
"Profondément triste , profondément philosophique , à couper le souffle..." New York Times
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316074233, Hardcover)

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has.

The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions--questions of life's meaning and of the value of work and society--through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace's unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:51 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The character David Foster Wallace is introduced to the banal world of the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, and the host of strange people who work there, in a novel that was unfinished at the time of the author's death.

(summary from another edition)

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Legacy Library: David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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