It wouldn't really be fair to compare this to the author's other works as this s an incomplete manuscript pelvic by Walace's editor.
I could see it as a semi-episodic HBO series where the characters and stories are loosely related to one another.
The book is often meandering and sometimes disjointed but that is to be expected from an incomplete, unorganized, and "tornadic" (to borrow a phrase from the author) manuscript, such as The Pale King. I feel this an important work for fans of David Foster Wallace to read. However, don't go into thinking it's going to be the next Infinite Jest. Even if DFW had finished this book it would have been a completely different beast than his previous works. It is a study in boredom and the author does a spectacular job of exploring and examining that topic. He, at times, truly makes the reader/listener know what it feels like to work a tedious job, day after day.
The word is forever less with David Foster Wallace gone. He was an amazing, brilliant talent that will never be replicated. If only we could have seen where his genius would have gone. He will be missed.
Don't think I would.
Never quite got to a point to pull my interest. Each time I got into the story, it wandered away.
Long, long descriptions.
I just found the author too wordy and it felt like the story was going in circles. It is the first book in a long time that I just had to abandon.
Perhaps I'm just not hip enough to "get" DFW but this book was just a waste of my time and credit. Unless you enjoy explorations of nihilism don't wast your credit.
After 10 years of subscribing to Audible.com this is only the second book that I just could not finish. The beginning was tolerable, even a highlight in the description of the little boy who was so "perfect" that everyone around him was driven crazy. But, when it got to the section that was the ONE SIDE of the dialog during an IRS internal review board - I had to quit. It went on and on. A little of that and I got the point. Why did it have to continue? This book defines why Authors like Margaret Mitchel (Gone With the Wind), were so adamant about being secretive with their unpublished works. No Author should be judged by the manuscripts left behind. Too bad, this one will be, now that this book has been published.
Untranslatable. This is a foreign language book. Yes, the language is English and a polysyllabic vocabulary is trotted out to impress the reader/listener, and this particular reader/listener knows the definitions, but none of it makes any sense. Shame on Foster-Wallace for abusing his privilege and exalted status amongst the literati. One of the purposes of literature and poetry to to engage the reader in a one-to-one dialogue, or at least a bond - the reader experiences the writer's thoughts separated by several timeframes. However this novel breaks that bond, and I am not impressed.