"[DFW's] delivery is dead-on and fresh, the words often springing from his mouth as if conceived on the spot.... an audible confirmation that modern American writing continues to gain strength." (Publishers Weekly on Consider the Lobster)
Collected here for the first time are the stories and speeches of David Foster Wallace as read by the author himself. Over the course of his career, David Foster Wallace recorded a variety of his work in diverse circumstances - from studio recordings to live performances - that are finally compiled in this unique collection. Some of the pieces collected here are: "Another Pioneer", recorded at The University of Arizona Poetry Center; stories from Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and Consider the Lobster, recorded in the studio; and the unforgettable "This Is Water", his 2005 commencement address given at Kenyon College. Also included are two interviews and a 2005 conversation with Rick Moody at Herbst Theater in San Francisco. This collection has a special introduction written and read by acclaimed writer and editor John Jeremiah Sullivan.
For fans of David Foster Wallace who have read everything he ever wrote as well as those looking to familiarize themselves with his work, David Foster Wallace: In His Own Words is a special, unique collection unavailable anywhere else.
©2014 David Foster Wallace (P)2014 Hachette Audio
I'm a woman from the baby boomer generation and I can't remember being as inspired by any writer ever more than I am by David Foster Wallace. He has given us the gift of a very real magic mirror in which to see ourselves and our culture. He dares us to look into it and not look away again until we are changed. I thank this most skillful and artful of humans who sacrificed himself to leave us with these experiences, begging for us to live with a broader bandwidth of understanding.
An avid reader who once abhorred the concept of listening to books, I now enjoy audiobooks as an alternative to the radio while commuting.
Ten years ago I started Infinite Jest. I made it to page 89. I stopped not because it was too difficult or not interesting, but because I simply wasn't in the mood for such a commitment at the time. I've read longer books and enjoyed them, so it wasn't the length either.
Fast forward to the present and my new audible obsession. I considered IJ but opted for this collection instead, primarily because I wanted to sample his works and, more importantly, hear his read how own stuff.
I'm now among those who consider DFW among the best writers of my generation. I would recommend this selection as the place to start if you are new to his writings.
Of the pieces offered here, my favorite is his review of tennis star Tracy Austin's ghost written memoir. The concluding commencement speech (available elsewhere for free, as both audio and video) is also excellent.
I enjoyed this production very much, I loved hearing DFW inflect his own work. It made his words much more real for me. What I didn't enjoy, was the introduction. The vocals were drab and Halloween-esque which I don't think favorably "sets up" the literary delights the rest of the presentation has to offer. In short, skip the intro and get right into the good stuff. Overall a great listen and worthy of your time.
If you are a DFW fan, then, yes, absolutely. It is SUCH a pleasure to hear his work in his own voice. A real treat. Gives him a living presence with you despite his untimely departure.
No. In my opinion, the stories are too numerous and varied to want to listen to in one sitting. I especially enjoyed listening to this in my car in bits and pieces.
There are two downsides I can see from this audio book. First, there were so many times that I wanted to have a table of contents to refer to. There are so many stories here along with longer essays and some interviews that you can get a little lost trying to know what you're listening to and where you are in the book. But there is no easy way to find this online and it got a bit frustrating at times because the book is a collection of various pieces of his writing (a whole lot from Brief Interviews with Hideous Men). Second, the interviews were much harder to hear, the microphones were lousy and distant unlike the majority of the book which sounds like he read it in a studio, loud and crisp. Nevertheless, I loved loved loved hearing his own voice.
This collection simply evinces Wallace's power to radically change a worldview with his writing; less a port- or starboard "turn" in worldview, but rather a plunging to new depths. And what glorious things await down there. This is essential for any DFW fan.
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