Synopses & Reviews
The "dazzling, exhilarating" (San Francisco Chronicle
) debut novel from the bestselling author of Infinite Jest,
available for the first time as an audiobook.
At the center of The Broom of the System is the betwitching (and also bewildered) heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman. The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio, which sits on the edge of a suburban wasteland-the Great Ohio Desert. Lenore works as a switchboard attendant at a publishing firm, and in addition to her mind-numbing job, she has a few other problems. Her great-grandmother, a one-time student of Wittgenstein, has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her beau (and boss), editor-in-chief Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous. And her cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started spouting a mixture of psychobabble, Auden, and the King James Bible, which may propel him to stardom on a Christian fundamentalist television program.
Fiercely intelligent and entertaining, this debut novel from one of the most innovative writers of our generation explores the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.
"Fans of the late, great David Foster Wallace will delight in narrator Robert Petkoff's wonderful audio version of the author's first novel. When Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman, a young switchboard attendant at the publishing firm of Frequent and Vigorous, discovers that her great-grandmother has disappeared, her search leads to the recently constructed Great Ohio Desert. Petkoff's narration is energetic, compelling, and well-paced. He deftly handles Wallace's linguistic gymnastics and entertains with brutally sharp comedic timing. Listeners will particularly appreciate the range of zany and pitch perfect voices Petkoff lends to Wallace's equally kooky cast of characters. Fun, funny, and very highly recommended. A Penguin paperback. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011.