Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October reading log - Infinite Jest

I haven't finished any books this month, as I've been working on reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest.  (As finishing this book in a summer is considered an accomplishment, I pretty much flew through it, considering that if I finish in the next few days [as seems likely] I will have finished in just over a month.)

Infinite Jest has turned out to be everything I'd heard it was, in terms of breadth and density.  If you want a straightforward "A then B then C" story, this is definitely not the book for you.  At about 1/3 of the way in, I still wasn't certain whether there as a story beneath the encrustation of detail or if it was just a mass of encrustation with a hollow core.  At halfway in, I was starting to see a story.  At 2/3 of the way in, I had found the story, was determined to finish the book to see how it turned out, but swore that I would never read anything by David Foster Wallace again.  At 75% I discovered that what I had thought was the story was just a part of the story, and I was getting more excited about it.  Now I'm at 90+%, I'm pretty sure I've got a handle on the shape of the story and not only do I want to read Wallace's other books and stories, I'm looking forward to rereading Infinite Jest.

When I do reread Infinite Jest, I'm going to do it in conjunction with reading about the book, which I have studiously avoided this time through so as to force myself to think it out and try to find the patterns myself.