Jun 30, 2009

Infinite Summer

One of the best books I have ever read, on average, is David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (IJ). I say "on average" because it's a little inconsistent. I finished it about three weeks ago, and loaned my copy to a friend that is interested in reading it.

Last weekend, a friend alerted me to Infinite Summer. It's an on-line book club sort of thing where we have a schedule and participate in a discussion via blog. Brilliant!

I am now heading for another couple of months of IJ, this time with the benefit of a discussion group.

So far, so good. I am getting much more out of the book on the second reading. I am pretty confident that DFW has some of the best descriptive writing I have ever experienced. At times it seems like the book is about to fly apart - plots don't tie together, long subplots don't seem to be advancing any themes, and some times it's just difficult to tell what's going on. Plus, it's wicked long - 1079 pages or so. Extensively footnoted. Many words that never, ever come up in daily useage (fantods being one of my favorites).

This go around, I am going to read it on the Kindle, which I think will be competitive advantage because the Kindle has the New Oxford American Dictionary (a theme of the book and the only place you will ever find some of the words in the story) built right in. I have had more than my fair share of advanced literature, so I think I'll be able to hold my own in the discussion as well.

I am also eager to get back into the book (or any book) because I find that if I am not reading something, I tend to be a little less creative and less likely to write for pleasure, so perhaps this will help to summon the muses as well.

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