Synopses & Reviews
Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest
explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.
Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.
"A virtuoso display of style....There is generous intelligence and authentic passion on every page." Arthur Sheppard, Time Magazine
"There's no doubt that Wallace's talent is immense and his imagination limitless. When he backs off and gives his narrative some breathing room, he emerges as a consistently innovative, sensitive, and intelligent writer." Dave Eggers, San Francisco Chronicle
"Well, there is nothing epic or infinite about this, although much that's repetitious or long....[T]his is not so much a novel of ideas as a novel of brand names and acronyms. They sweep past one's eye in a flutter that leaves only one thing to hope for, and that is style." Paul West, The Washington Post Book World
"[S]o few American writers show anything resembling Wallace's critical engagement with the popular culture that disowns them. At minimum, he's the funniest writer of his generation. I can't decide if I want his next book to be shorter or not." Jonathan Dee, Voice Literary Supplement
"Wallace has not so much written a novel as created a system, an intricately engineered internally consistent system that is fueled by his endless imagination, his pure verbal prowess and a language that looks familiar but feels utterly invented." David McLean, Boston Book Review
"[T]his skeleton of satire is fleshed out with several domestically scaled narratives and masses of hyperrealistic quotidian detail. The overall effect is something like a sleek Vonnegut chassis wrapped in layers of post-millennial Zola." Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review
"Wallace's brilliant but somewhat bloated dirigible of a second novel will appeal to steadfast readers of Pynchon and Gaddis. But few others will have the stamina for it....[I]ngenious and often outrageously funny..." Publishers Weekly
"If you can stand the extreme length, ignore the footnotes, and have a bed-desk to rest this tome on, this book can be fun....Distinct, idiomatic, wild, and crazy, this book is destined to have a cult following." Library Journal
"A work of genius...grandly ambitious, wickedly comic, a wild, surprisingly readable tour de force." Seattle Times
is a sprawling tour de force, which is often melancholy, funny and essayistic within the space of a few pages, and almost every page is rich with the local pleasures of Wallace's ability to render the ordinary in unusual and imaginative ways." Stephen Burn, The Times Literary Supplement
(read the entire TLS review
Somewhere in the not-so-distant future, the screwed-up residents of Ennet House, a Boston halfway house for recovering addicts, and students at the Enfield Tennis Academy search for the master copy of a movie so dangerously entertaining that its viewers die in a state of catatonic bliss. Explores essential questions about what entertainment is, why we need it, and what it says about who we are.
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.