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infinitejoe

Infinite Joe

I like challenging books that make you think, and leave you happy that you did. Typically, I find character driven literary fiction the most satisfying, although I in no way think of myself as a serious literary critic.

Currently reading

Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri
Progress: 282/333 pages

The Pale King

The Pale King - David Foster Wallace, Michael Pietsch My quest to read every last word written by DFW continues. Infinite Jest, This is Water, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, and now The Pale King have been checked off the list.

I feel bad for giving this only 4 stars, considering the reason why it remains an unfinished novel, but still, it’s unfinished, and judging by the notes section at the end of the book, where the editor reveals some of DFW’s notes about the book, and the direction in which he wanted to take it, it would have been 5 stars, and I feel sad that we’ll never see what the finished product was intended to be. The book as it is though was very good. Great collection of (odd) characters, great interactions, and great writing. He’ll hit you with an unexpected deep philosophical truth about humanity and about yourself, leaving you wondering how his insight can possibly be so sharp, and then next page he has you laughing out loud. I especially loved the conversation between Meredith Rand and Shane Drinion towards the end of the book, so much so that I’ll go back and read just that chapter again sometime soon, and I would have loved to see what, if anything, that scene led to.