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Infinite Jest Audiobook

Infinite Jest

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Audible Editor Reviews

"Pratt is a startlingly good narrator, dry and expressive, with the kind of vocal control that evokes dozens of characters with only slight but very distinctive variations of accent and affect.... Pratt hears the humor in Wallace's work, and lets you in on the joke without resorting to overheated wackiness. His control and stamina are impressive." (John Schwartz, The New York Times Book Review)

Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“[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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1279 )
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4.4 (1142 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brad 12-19-12
    Brad 12-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Serious end"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    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!


    Have you listened to any of Sean Pratt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Dear David. Thank you. We will miss you.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley La Crosse, WI, United States 09-10-12
    Bradley La Crosse, WI, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book, great reader!"
    Where does Infinite Jest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At the top, except for the frustration over having to run to the book to read the endnotes.


    What about Sean Pratt’s performance did you like?

    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).


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both, and it made me curse every time I missed an endnote.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ä Lalilu 10-22-12
    Ä Lalilu 10-22-12 Member Since 2010

    Passionate audio book listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    3
    2
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    Story
    "Test Review - only for tech testing"

    This is only a test and shall not go live. This is only a test and shall not go live.

    9 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Langston Salt Lake City, UT 09-17-16
    Andrew Langston Salt Lake City, UT 09-17-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "It's nothing without the subtitles"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    teen fiction? I don't know


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Siobhan Ricci 09-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Dave Wallace Rulez"

    I love Dave Wallace he rocks my socks rest in peace Dave foster Wallace RiP

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Bennett williamsport, PA United States 08-30-16
    Patrick Bennett williamsport, PA United States 08-30-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
    3
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    "Missing endnote markets"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    2
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    "Bizarre and grotesque."

    Billiant and exceedingly unpleasant. Great for people who want to be dicouraged from using drugs and /or playing tennis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannette Campbell 08-23-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "So long..."

    It was interesting, lots of good character development and stories. It could have been divided into several smaller complete books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Citizen 08-20-16
    Citizen 08-20-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favorite audiobooks"

    The narrator, Sean Pratt, is excellent for this story. Even though the sentences can get very long and meandering, he speaks with such a casual rhythm that it becomes very easy to understand. The voices and dialects are also very believable and consistent. Besides the performance, this book is fantastic in its own right. Everyone should read it or listen to it at least once. Since its such a long book, I think listening is the best option along with reading the endnotes separately (since its not included in audio).

    The book is thought provoking, and uncomfortable at times. It confronts the gruesome reality of the pursuit of pleasure and happiness and success as being all of one nature, a possibly obsessive drive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Tian Sailiata/Lara Britt Walla Walla, Washinton 08-17-16
    Lori Tian Sailiata/Lara Britt Walla Walla, Washinton 08-17-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    118
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    0
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    "Missing Footnotes"

    Infinite Jest is infamous for its footnotes which are missing except for the female voicing their numbers. Since IJ is so mountainous to tackle and so complex as to necessitate multiple readings, an audiobook version is brilliant. Although I've long loved Sean Pratt's work (and not only with narration), his performance surpassed all expectations. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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