HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Loading...

Infinite Jest (original 1996; edition 2006)

by David Foster Wallace

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,520138459 (4.29)9 / 694
Member:alynnk
Title:Infinite Jest
Authors:David Foster Wallace
Info:Back Bay Books (2006), Edition: 10 Anv, Paperback, 1104 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:@wishlist: to read

Work details

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (1996)

Recently added bymarcorel, adammulvey, EverettPantaloons, mabrires, William-90, avanders, private library, reganrule, aledan
Legacy LibrariesTerence Kemp McKenna
  1. 80
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Books that cause neuroses.
  2. 80
    A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace (pyrocow)
  3. 81
    Ulysses by James Joyce (browner56)
    browner56: You will either love them both or hate them both, but you will probably need a reader's guide to get through either one--I know I did.
  4. 60
    Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (owenkeegan)
    owenkeegan: Set at an Irish boarding school, this book shares a sense of humor with and has a narrative disjunction similar to Infinite Jest.
  5. 61
    Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky (blahblah88)
    blahblah88: Get to know DFW.
  6. 40
    A Naked Singularity: A Novel by Sergio De La Pava (DaveInSeattle)
  7. 41
    Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: It's all about what people do for entertainment, status, and sport. Along the way, the entire spectrum of society is satirized.
  8. 21
    The Man Without Qualities, Volume 1: A Sort of Introduction, and Pseudo Reality Prevails by Robert Musil (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung meint, dass 'Unendlicher Spass' von Foster Wallace für den Beginn des einundzwanzigsten Jahrhunderts das sei, was Musils 'Mann ohne Eigenschaften' für das vergangene Jahrhundert war.
  9. 54
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (owenkeegan)
    owenkeegan: David Foster Wallace based the structure of Infinite Jest on a fractal. Cloud Atlas similarly transitions from one story to the next as though zooming in on a corner of one world to reveal a whole new universe, related but unique.
  10. 10
    The Instructions by Adam Levin (hairball)
    hairball: If you liked Infinite Jest, you will like The Instructions, but even if you didn't like IJ, you should try it.
  11. 10
    Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick (ateolf)
  12. 00
    The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt (aidan_w-m)
  13. 00
    The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over the World by Tom Feiling (DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: I know that Infinite Jest isn't "about drugs" - to reduce it to that would be insulting - but nevertheless, I read these books around the same time, and found they both have really interesting things to say about drugs and addiction in modern society - so if you liked IJ, Tome Felling's book might be worth a look.… (more)
  14. 00
    The Dissertation: A Novel (Norton paperback fiction) by R. M. Koster (EnriqueFreeque)
  15. 58
    House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (Torikton)
    Torikton: Danielewski and Wallace both satirize academic writing by playing with footnotes.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (134)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
I started this several years ago ... and then let it go. Now I'm about a quarter of the way through it and I can't imagine HOW I could have left it. It's a real hoot and it's taking me to some very interesting places, in the far corners of my mind. When I pick it up and start to read, it just takes over and I'm rolling along in a special place. I've never experienced any other book quite the same way as this one.

Does every word sing? No. Are there things contained in the book's 1,079 pages of text and footnotes that don't work ... hell, yes. But he took the novel form and stretched it this way, and bent it that way, until it worked on many different levels, and failed on a fe others. A major physical problem I had with the book was its heft, it challenged my badly sprained thumb. Holding this book up in bed to read was often a dangerous proposition.

As a tennis junkie and player from way back, reading the tennis players insider stuff about Hal and the family's tennis academy was pure gold for me. All of the up close and personal agony of the drug halfway house's clients was hard to read at times, but certainly interesting. The book takes place sometime in some nonspecific future, after the US, Mexico and Canada have come under one government, and the years are named after their corporate sponsors. Sadly for this Vermont born reader, all of New England was abandoned as a place to live the good life, and is only used for storing hazardous waste in a polluted hell on earth.

The book style of moving from tennis training and competition, to dealing with the problems of addicts, to the North American politics of this futurescape, kept this reader's mind loose. And it is one VERY FUNNY book.

There were nearly 400 footnotes in the back of the book and they served many purposes. Explaining and detailing all the drugs (legal and street), was a common feature — one that seemed simply too clinical and cold after about the twentieth time, but Wallace has his fixations. Another use of the footnotes was to explain all the abbreviations that Wallace created and used throughout the work, which became a little old after a while. He knew we needed to know — and what's better than a fun trip to the back of the book? I ended up using two bookmarks while reading I Jest, one for my place in the text, and one for my latest footnote. Wallace used the footnotes for many other purposes. Moving back and forth, never knowing where any footnote would lead you, kept reading fluid and created many spectacularly humorous moments for him to play out a joke, or just mess with your head.

The word unique could have been created just as a label for this book ... Lord knows that reviewers, and readers of all kinds, have called it many things. But it's been an experience for me that was entirely unique. This is a reading experience that is massively creative and certainly one long strange trip of a book. Hell, I will be thinking and pondering his words for a long time. ( )
2 vote jphamilton | Jul 25, 2014 |
This was a true testament to perseverance. If it wasn't for my obsession with finishing a novel that I start I would never have finished this gargantuan.
For the good:
The novel itself is about America's obsession with addiction or the pursuit and need to be addicted - sex, drugs, power, control, fame, food, addiction to addiction. It is slow and pervasive and like Wallace states about its mood is sadness. The sadness starts in the gut and permeates your being as you read and realize this is me and all of us together blindly seeking one thing to another.
The bad:
Extremely poor editing.
Slow, slow character buildup that don't speak like individual characters, but far off shallow narratives from the author's mindless wanderings.
Everything but the kitchen sink of ramblings are included.
The story is convoluted and extremely messy. Imagine the inside of a magazine hoarders house. Now picture putting all the articles in a single novel and deciding the order by sifting them through a tornado.
The ugly:
1092 pages and footnotes. ( )
  revslick | Jul 3, 2014 |
I have a blog that hardly anyone reads. It's mostly to promote my own books. Friends and family might stop by occasionally. That sort of thing.

Anyhoo, I noticed one day that Boston.Com had listed "100 Essential New England Books" and invited readers to submit their own. In no time at all, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest was at the top of the list, and I made the mistake of blogging this:

"I was surprised to discover David Foster Wallace's execrable and masturbatory "Infinite Jest" is now number one on the list (the default number one yesterday was "Moby Dick.") Apparently, the page is now sorting on reader favorites.

Don't mean to diss "Infinite Jest" too bad, but I couldn't get through it and suspect that's part of its snob appeal. There are those who can get through it (and laugh and laugh at the upper class, tennis lesson, sleepaway school humor) and us peons who can't.

Only got through the first hundred pages or so myself, and have since actually and literally and without irony used the thing as a doorstop.

Did I mention it has footnotes? Hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of fictional footnotes. Not my idea of reading pleasure."


Afterward, my silly little blog was set upon by David Foster Wallace fans, and kudos to them for coming to the defense of a book that meant something to them.

As for me, as noted, I couldn't get through it and therefore will not rate it. I stand by my thoughts, though, and welcome you to your own.
  BrendanPMyers | Jun 23, 2014 |
Well, read, sort of. I read the beginning, the end, much of the middle and a smattering of the footnotes. (And made use of a lot of helpful online concordances to fill in the gaps). Enough to appreciate the effort it must have taken to write. Enough to get second-hand depression from the sheer weight of narrative entropy. Its most heavily underscored irony is that it's a deeply sad book, sort of a fictional DSM-IV of American malaise. I'm not sure it's wiser than it is smart, though, any more than the DSM is. Maybe time will tell. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
How to review a novel such as Infinite Jest? It took me approximately 8 months to read and I would occasionally stop to read another book in between chapters. The story is immense and I have no doubt would have more meaning upon a re-read. Of course, it's not the most entertaining of books, it can be hard to read and extremely overwhelming. But I'm glad to have read it and am in awe at the skill of DFW in authoring this beast of a novel. After a short while the footnotes were an aggravating aspect of the read (I know the author used them to break the linearity of the reading experience). The "realness" of the characters was something this book really gives to the reader. You find yourself identifying to the characters and I found they came across so believably that most other books pale in comparison. Perhaps I'll re-read it again one day but there's so much else to read it's hard to say for certain. ( )
  briandarvell | Apr 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
[I]t is, in a word, terrible. Other words I might use include bloated, boring, gratuitous, and – perhaps especially – uncontrolled. I would, in fact, go so far as to say that Infinite Jest is one of the very few novels for which the phrase ‘not worth the paper it’s written on’ has real meaning in at least an ecological sense [...] I resent the five weeks of my life I gave over to it; I resent every endlessly over-elaborated gag in the book.
 
If Mr. Wallace were less talented, you would be inclined to shoot him -- or possibly yourself -- somewhere right around page 480 of ''Infinite Jest.'' In fact, you might anyway. Alternately tedious and effulgent [...] What makes all this almost plausible, and often pleasurable, is Mr. Wallace's talent -- as a stylist, a satirist and a mimic -- as well as his erudition, which ranges from the world of street crime to higher mathematics. While there are many uninteresting pages in this novel, there are not many uninteresting sentences.
 
"Somewhere in the mess, the reader suspects, are the outlines of a splendid novel, but as it stands the book feels like one of those unfinished Michelangelo sculptures: you can see a godly creature trying to fight its way out of the marble, but it's stuck there, half excavated, unable to break completely free."
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wallace, David Fosterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggers, DaveForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giua, GraziaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nesi, EdoardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villoresi, AnnalisaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For F.P. Foster: R.I.P.
First words
I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies.
Quotations
"...'Acceptance' is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else."

"Molly Notkin often confides on the phone to Joelle van Dyne about the one tormented love of Notkin's life thus far, an erotically circumscribed G.W. Pabst scholar at New York University tortured by the neurotic conviction that there are only a finite number of erections possible in the world at any one time and that his tumescence means e.g. the detumescence of some perhaps more deserving or tortured Third World sorghum farmer or something, so that whenever he tumefies he 'll suffer the same order of guilt that your less eccentrically tortured Ph.D.-type person will suffer at the idea of, say, wearing baby seal-fur."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316066524, Paperback)

In a sprawling, wild, super-hyped magnum opus, David Foster Wallace fulfills the promise of his precocious novel The Broom of the System. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction, features a huge cast and multilevel narrative, and questions essential elements of American culture - our entertainments, our addictions, our relationships, our pleasures, our abilities to define ourselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:43 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A spoof on our culture featuring a drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation house near Boston. The center becomes a hotbed of revolutionary activity by Quebec separatists in revolt against the Organization of North American Nations which now rules the continent.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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.

See David Foster Wallace's legacy profile.

See David Foster Wallace's author page.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 avail.
3643 wanted
4 pay1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.29)
0.5 11
1 33
1.5 6
2 52
2.5 8
3 103
3.5 44
4 254
4.5 64
5 753

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,277,986 books! | Top bar: Always visible