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A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Argumentsby David Foster Wallace
Synopses & Reviews
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again collects David Foster Wallace's writings on a range of subjects that only he could bring together. From personal narratives to tennis, film, philosophy, and postmodern literary theory, no subject is outside the play of his imagination.
In "Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All," a finalist for the 1995 National Magazine Award, Wallace gorges himself on corn dogs, gawks at baton twirlers, and gropes toward the true meaning of the all-American Institution the State Fair. In the title essay, one of the most talked about (and frequently photocopied) nonfiction pieces of the-year, Wallace reports with excruciating humor the agonies of enduring forced fun on a commercial cruiseliner. Wallace's sports obsession comes out in an essay about the unfathomable gulf between professional tennis players and the merely excellent. "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction" explores the deep currents affecting both popular arts and literary craft, while "David Lynch Keeps His Head" is at once a portrait of the artist at work and an appreciation of the far-reaching cultural influence a popular artist can have.
"Wallace blurts out that he wants 'passionately serious ideological contemporary fiction [that is] also ingenious and radiantly transcendent fiction.' From most writers, that would be hot air; from one as honest, subtle and ambitious as Wallace, it has the sound of a promise." Publishers Weekly
"Wallace's style is highly personal — some might say eccentric — but his writing is always intelligent, witty, and engaging." Library Journal
"A sprawling meditation on televison and contemporary fiction lays out many intriguing theories." Kirkus Reviews
"Mr. Wallace's distinctive and infectious style, an acrobatic cartwheeling between high intellectual discourse and vernacular insouciance, makes him tremendously entertaining to read, whatever his subject." Laura Miller, New York Times Book Review
"A heady, often hilarious tour of American diversions....A remarkably talented, fluid, and arresting young voice." Alex Abramovich, Entertainment Weekly
"He's the real thing....Beneath the fun and the verbal high jinks, there is a passionate and deeply serious writer at work." Brigitte Frase, San Francisco Chronicle
"As funny and brilliant as any nonfiction book in recent memory." John Glassie, Time Out New York
"[T]hese intelligent, funny essays are outstanding....[A] virtual cyclone with his highly idiosyncratic perceptions, perfectly correct cadence, and casually hip lexicon." Booklist
In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction, including the bestselling Infinite Jest.
A collection of stories from David Foster Wallace is occasion to celebrate. These stories — which have been prominently serialized in Harper's, Esquire, the Paris Review, and elsewhere — explore intensely immediate states of mind, with the attention to voice and the extraordinary creative daring that have won Wallace his reputation as one of the most talented fiction writer of his generation.Among the stories are The Depressed Person, a dazzling portrayal of a woman's mental state; Adult World, which reveals a woman's agonized consideration of her confusing sexual relationship with her husband; and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, a dark, hilarious series of portraits of men whose fear of women renders them grotesque.
About the Author
David Foster Wallace is the author of Infinite Jest, The Broom of the System, and Girl With Curious Hair. His essays and stories have appeared in Harper's, the New Yorker, Playboy, Paris Review, Conjunctions, Premiere, Tennis, the Missouri Review, and the Review of Contemporary Fiction. Wallace has received the Whiting Award, the Lannan Award for Fiction, the Paris Review Prize for humor, the QPB Joe Savago New Voices Award, and an O. Henry Award.
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