A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America 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.
Please note: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material, including endnotes, will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
A Note from Hachette Audio
We are deeply honored to be the audio publisher of David Foster Wallace's works, and are keenly aware of the great responsibility that attends the privilege. We felt that it was important to make Infinite Jest accessible in the audio format as soon as we were able, and are gratified to find that there is an audience that has been waiting for just this occasion.
Some early listeners have been disappointed that the novel's endnotes are currently available only in text form, to be read. Choosing to include the endnotes as a downloadable PDF file, rather than as a recording by the narrator, was a difficult decision for all involved, and we debated different options at length before beginning production. The audio format allows us great opportunities to showcase Wallace's love of language and grammatical dexterity, to illuminate characters and their relationships, and to bring out some of the unique humor inherent in his work. However, there are also certain limitations to the format, and we needed let go of some of our preconceived notions about the form of Infinite Jest, as we must when we adapt any complex work to audio.
The compromise we ended up with was heavily influenced by practical concerns, especially those regarding the limitations of current technology. Because some of the endnotes are pages-long digressions, if we had them read in line with the main narrative, we would have run the risk of making the already complex story unfollowable for listeners. In the end, we decided the audiobook would flow best by having the endnotes indicated by number throughout the narrative by an additional narrator. However, we acknowledge that these choices may not work for all listeners. Accordingly, our future plans are to produce the endnotes as an additional, stand-alone audio piece.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2006 David Foster Wallace (P)2012 Hachette
“[A]n exhilarating, breathtaking experience. This book teems with so much life and death, so much hilarity and pain, so much gusto in the face of despair that one cheers for the future of our literature.” (Newsday)
"[A] postmodern saga of damnation and salvation…resourceful, hilarious, intelligent, and unique.” (The Atlantic Monthly)
"[C]ompulsively entertaining… one of the big talents of his generation, a writer of virtuosic skills who can seemingly do anything.” (New York Times)
Yes, I liked this story. It made me laugh. It made me weep. I sent gift copies to people I love, and I sent a copy to someone I hate. They deserved it. I think some of the best stories might for instance be set in a tennis school, or at AAmeetings. I sure learned a lot about depression and drugs and stuff, as well as lots of new words like "annular" and ummmm, Annular and well yes, annular. Plus some others.
This story was interesting for me because I could listen to it. It was like being told a story, or like my big brother who I look up to, not hitting me with a tennis ball, kind of bouncing it on my head, over and over and telling me that he thinks post modern is over and we are now definitely post post modern and that we should all be playing virtual eschaton and watching out that we don't get too clinically depressed because if we do, we will become addicted to reading very long novels where the author makes fun of us for reading what he writes before he takes his own life, to show us he meant what he said about it being all one big joke. Seriously!
At 56 hours, I heard a guy down the valley couldn't stop and perished of dehydration. So I always keep a glass of Gatorade next to me just in case I get too engrossed.
Dear David. Thank you. We will miss you.
At the top, except for the frustration over having to run to the book to read the endnotes.
He captured Wallace's narration voice and every character's voice perfectly. This is probably the greatest performance of a book I've ever listened to (and I've listened to about a hundred).
Both, and it made me curse every time I missed an endnote.
Anyone willing to listen to 56 hours of this wouldn't mind listening to another 10 in order to hear all the endnotes. I think it was a terrible mistake not to include them. Other than that, this is one of the greatest books ever written, and one of the greatest performances by a reader.
Yes. For people who don't have the time but could listen in the car on a long commute or at the gym, working around the house, etc. it is the next best thing to reading it. This narrator is excellent.
I can't imagine a more difficult piece of fiction to narrate. Between the accents, the awkward grammar and page long sentences, it is a beast. Pratt's range is superb and he is so consistently on point in his interpretation. This is not a book someone can just robotically read aloud... even Wallace himself didn't like reading his own work out loud.
Mario because I love him.
Pratt's voice is so distinctive for me now as the voice of Infinite Jest. I recognized him reading a Tim Keller book and it kind of disturbed me. Lol.
I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks
YES! DFW's language is deep and complex and having it read to you adds an element of reality and drama to the characters that truly expand one's ability to enjoy this amazing literary achievement.
This book is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. As a bookworm approaching 50, that is a large pool in which this tome dominates. First, true confessions: it took me three tries over three years to finally be able to enjoy this book. It is very difficult. First, the sentence structure, language and vocabulary are all challenging. But really, the difficulty lies in the fact that the book is kind of about.... nothing. Yup. Nothing. Well, not really NOTHING. It's about a lot of things! It's about addiction. It's about tennis. It's about family (OK, dysfunctional families). It's about love. Like all great books, it is ultimately about life itself - the gist of it, the melancholy chaos out of which we each seek sense and relevance. It's even about a future where Canada and the U.S have merged, to the distress of the Canadians. But really, the plot arc is so complex that it's rather dilute, and hooking on to a compelling plot amidst language, run on sentences and endless footnotes makes the book feel like it's about nothing. But it's NOT! It's about all the things I mention above and more. It's about Wallace's genius - with words, description, the human condition. It's about you, the reader, and your ability to weep with Mario, ache with the exhausted tennis kids, and soar with Gately. I can't really give a great synopsis of the book as it's complex and long. But I can say this: if you read this book, you will love it. There can be no other outcome.
I've tried to read this once before, but it's long and I couldn't get into the story so I thought I'd try the audio book version. That was a mistake, a major part of the story IS the subtitle information, which really makes it hard to read the story if those aren't there. I'm going to go back to the original text and give it a whirl again.
This rating reflects the audio version of this story, not the story itself. It's too complicated to follow on audio book.
teen fiction? I don't know
The story and performance are just as strong as the previous sections. However, the endnote markers are missing for several hours in the middle of this section making it frustrating to follow along.
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