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Infinite Jest (2014)

by David Foster Wallace

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,964239452 (4.23)11 / 1075
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.
  1. 80
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Books that cause neuroses.
  2. 91
    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.
  3. 61
    Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky (blahblah88)
    blahblah88: Get to know DFW.
  4. 50
    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. 30
    A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava (DaveInSeattle)
  6. 42
    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.
  7. 75
    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.
  8. 10
    Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick (ateolf)
  9. 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.
  10. 21
    The Man Without Qualities: A Sort of Introduction; Pseudo Reality Prevails {Vol. 1 of 2} 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.
  11. 00
    The Dissertation: A Novel (Norton paperback fiction) by R. M. Koster (absurdeist)
  12. 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)
  13. 00
    The Sellout by Paul Beatty (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Books share a hectic, erudite wordplay and sense of the outrageous.
  14. 00
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Infinite Jest wields several references/allusions to Shakespeare's play.
1990s (6)
To Read (164)
Cooper (10)

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English (232)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (239)
Showing 1-5 of 232 (next | show all)
Hard as I tried, I just could not get into this book. All the great reviews led me to spend more time than I normally would have with it, but I gave up after a couple of hundred pages (and jumping around in the book a bit to see if it changed in character, which it didn't appear to do.). ( )
  jjbinkc | Aug 27, 2023 |
Exceeded the hype. ( )
  Alexander_McEvoy | Aug 23, 2023 |
Only got to read like 20% of it. I can see why it's so highly appraised. It's funny, smart, some chapters are incredibly engaging. But then it also seemed to me extremely verbose at times, and it felt like too much work to continue. Not being a native English speaker makes it harder for sure.

I guess I'll give it another chance in a year or ten.
  eduramirezh | Aug 2, 2023 |
This book was just too much damn work! Never knowing what order in which things are happening, collecting the clues that he sprinkles like crumbs in order to follow the plot (is there actually a plot? I still can't tell), and not finding a single character to connect with - it is all just exhausting. I'm reading this for fun during my relaxation time, Mr. Wallace (RIP), and this book is neither the former nor the latter.

I made it to page 371, and now it's time for me and this book to part ways.
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
As a clue to DFW's ambition, at the end of the novel, he makes a pointed reference to The Brothers Karamazov, specifically Ivan and Alyosha's conversation about religion and Ivan's parable of the Grand Inquisitor. Infinite Jest has the same kind of swing for the fences, novel of the century feel as Dostoevsky. The central story is about a brilliantly dysfunctional family, the Incandenzas, who represent the struggle for sanity in an age of easy and senseless pleasures. The moral center of the novel, however, is an ex-addict named Don Gately, whose sacrifices and self-denial are presented as an ideal, along with the basic, simple decency of the deformed youngest Incandenza brother Mario.

It took me months to read this novel. You should not try to read this while you are tired, or distracted, at the beach or the airport. The prose is not difficult, but it is extremely dense and it requires the entire mind's attention. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 232 (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 (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wallace, David Fosterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blumenbach, UlrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Covián, MarceloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggers, DaveForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giua, GraziaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nesi, EdoardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pratt, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valkonen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villoresi, AnnalisaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For F.P. Foster: R.I.P.
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I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies.
"...'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."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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Book description
Haiku summary
Tennis and junkies
A polymath's doorstopper
Be kind when you can. (captainfez)

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Average: (4.23)
0.5 14
1 65
1.5 6
2 96
2.5 21
3 164
3.5 60
4 402
4.5 86
5 1089

Hachette Book Group

2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316066524, 0316920045


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