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Infinite Jest (2014)

by David Foster Wallace

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,052233447 (4.24)9 / 1003
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.
Recently added bylevantin, Natt90, private library, celticpearl, IzzyMitcham1, MilesNotDavis, Nevoriot, ucelluccia, striipes
Legacy LibrariesTerence Kemp McKenna
  1. 90
    A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments by David Foster Wallace (pyrocow)
  2. 80
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Books that cause neuroses.
  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. 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. 61
    Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky (blahblah88)
    blahblah88: Get to know DFW.
  6. 30
    A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava (DaveInSeattle)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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 Sellout by Paul Beatty (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Books share a hectic, erudite wordplay and sense of the outrageous.
  13. 00
    The Dissertation: A Novel (Norton paperback fiction) by R. M. Koster (absurdeist)
  14. 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)
1990s (6)
To Read (145)
Cooper (10)

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English (224)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (229)
Showing 1-5 of 224 (next | show all)

To be bluntly honest, I have no idea how to summarize Infinite Jest with one sentence. I want to call this book a masterpiece, but at the same time, this was not an easy book to read or understand. The only person who actually understood this was David Foster Wallace. If you know anyone who claims they understood what they read word for word, they are either DFW or buttfaced liar.

Some Favorite Parts:
I’ll admit I’m not sure what I fully read. There are tons of what-the-fuck moments in this book. I think wheelchair assassins pretty much explains the weirdness of this book. However, I liked several parts from the book. I’ll only talk about two to keep this review from going on too long.

There is one scene with one of the characters (yes I forgotten exactly who) that attends an AA meeting in Boston. It wasn’t what was happening I liked, but more about what this character had said I loved. He goes on and on about substance abuse and how substance is your best friend at first, but later this best friend will turn into your biggest enemy. That long goddamn quote really hit a cord with me for some reason. I don’t do any of that stuff, but I’ve seen too many people fall down that path and it sucks.

Another scene I liked is somewhat similar to the previous one about the show M*A*S*H, not really about the show in particular, but about an older man who is addicted to M*A*S*H. What I liked about this scene was the fact it shows that watching TV can go a little too far sometimes. Some people start acting as if the characters are real or they start getting upset over events in the episode. We still do this today and sadly, I think there is too much of it happening. I have a feeling DFW wouldn’t like this concept of “binge watching” your favorite TV reruns.

Some Book Comparisons:
First off, I’ll say this book isn’t like anything I have ever read before. I will say there are three books that did play in my head as I read some sections of the book.
Ulysses: This book is all over the place, but it's goddamn beautiful.
Rabbit, Run: When authors write actual good sports fiction.
Bell Jar: Depicts a good sense of the New England culture and having a main theme of depression and suicide. Fun fact, DFW and Plath both went to McLean Hospital in Massachusetts.

Some Themes:
I think the main theme to this book was addiction. Ask someone else and they will tell you something else most likely because that’s the beauty of this book. Keep in mind though this book is also about depression and tennis. I’m not a tennis fan, nor have I really watched or played the game, but this book sure will make you interested. Watched a bio of DFW beforehand on YouTube with his sister saying he was good at tennis. I am into fitness though and noticed for a fiction book this book covers a bit of fitness related stuff, nothing that will make you go lift some weights or anything like that, but I felt like I fit in with the lingo of this book.

I pretty much liked this book, but there are too minor things I didn’t like. First off, I didn’t care for the footnote. I understand there reason to be there, but I really dislike footnotes. Unlike some people, I decided to read them at the end, I’m not sure if that was a smart idea, but some of them are just little funny tidbits and others are part of the story. [SPOILER TIME]. The other thing I didn’t like was the ending. I felt that this book didn’t have an end, at the same time I think that was the point. I think the joke with this book is that if you focus too much on it, you’ll never finish it and this book will become your life. My advice, only read this book when you decided to read it (drop everything else) and make sure you’re like me with no life and a too much free time.

Overall Review:
If this wasn’t the internet, I’d give the book 4.5 stars. I liked the book a ton, but it’s not my favorite book in the world and as I said the footnotes and the ending were a buzzkill. Since I’m a nice guy and since this book is like no other (that I’ve read), I’ll give it a full five start review. The same rating I gave to the movie Blood Sister: One Though Nun (see what I did there?) ( )
  Ghost_Boy | Aug 25, 2022 |
tl;dr: this book wasn't that infinite

A hard 8 and maybe a soft 9 out of ten depending on my mood, hard for me to consider it an utter masterpiece because it does come off as pretty misogynistic throughout the whole thing.

For a one thousand page anti drug PSA the book is thrilling, its comedic highs are some of the funniest stuff i've read since Catch-22.

Found the tennis portions more interesting in the first half with don gately's portions superior in the back, which maybe is intended to match the arcs of said characters, I'm not sure. I will certainly be thinking about this book for weeks! ( )
  bluestraveler | Aug 15, 2022 |
Infinite rubbish, infinite twaddle, infinite toilet tissue, infinite kindling, infinite boring. "Best literary practical joke since [b:Finnegans Wake|11013|Finnegans Wake|James Joyce|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1336408055s/11013.jpg|322098]."

I have a theory about the demographics of the ratings for this book but I'm not sure how to prove it. Dudes don't dig DFW. In any case it will be forgotten in 100 years.

In the end DFW made the best career move he could. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
god help me ( )
  bradbaines | Mar 4, 2022 |
It is so sad how few people there are who can share the pleasures of this book. It should be required reading for physicians for insight into the phenomenology of addiction. The Audiobook is much more accessible than the text version, and it is masterfully performed. ( )
1 vote Foeger | Jan 3, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 224 (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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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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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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Average: (4.24)
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Hachette Book Group

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

Editions: 0316066524, 0316920045


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