We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Infinite Jest | [David Foster Wallace]

Infinite Jest

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.
Regular Price:$75.58
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

4.0 (701 )
5 star
 (371)
4 star
 (125)
3 star
 (94)
2 star
 (48)
1 star
 (63)
Overall
4.0 (618 )
5 star
 (358)
4 star
 (89)
3 star
 (70)
2 star
 (44)
1 star
 (57)
Story
4.3 (614 )
5 star
 (387)
4 star
 (110)
3 star
 (66)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (32)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Reuel South Bend, IN, United States 12-07-14
    Reuel South Bend, IN, United States 12-07-14

    drj

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliiant and rewarding"

    Starts with a high school tennis player freaking out in college interview, segues to a Marijuana addict in Boston, Arab doctor in Boston, pro football kicker in Phoenix, beauty from Kentucky, cycling back to family running a tennis academy in Boston, father an expert on optics and dabbling in perfecting an engrossing video entertainment, sought by Canadian Quebec separatists, all interacting with substance abusers (12 steppers, obsessives). Absolutely brilliant with many threads, many entertaining (!) and insightful themes and interactions. It does not coalesce well at the end, not surprisingly given the huge ambition, but well worth the time. Absolutely amazing narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calvin 11-18-14
    Calvin 11-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Believe the hype"
    Where does Infinite Jest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would say that it is in my top 5 favorite books of all time


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Infinite Jest?

    There are several disturbing parts that may usually scare people off, but DFW does a great job finding the humanity and emotion behind pain. For example, hearing about how J.O Incandenza's suicide affected his sons (not a spoiler) was unbelievably interesting


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

    No


    If you could take any character from Infinite Jest out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would want to meet Hal Incandenza. He is complex and self aware to the point that he seems dangerously vulnerable. His family history is too much for most people, but I think it'd be a rewarding experience to get to know him more. I loved all of his narration


    Any additional comments?

    This was a bucket list book for me. I was nervous about starting it, but when I did, I was immediately drawn into the characters. The writing is noticeably superior, and not condescending in anyway. I looked up a lot of esoteric words, but that seemed reflective of the characters more than the author's tone. I think this is great book to start for anyone who is looking to mix things up. It's crazy and addictive

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Wickenburg, AZ, United States 10-27-14
    Donna Wickenburg, AZ, United States 10-27-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You just may find yourself in one of these scenes."
    Where does Infinite Jest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Tied for first.


    What other book might you compare Infinite Jest to and why?

    Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I have listened to Anathem dozens of times and always find it enjoyable. The prose and thoughtfulness in both books is rare.


    What does Sean Pratt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This narrator is exquisite in his intonations. He nails the mood and age of the speaker. I have looked through the written book and it is daunting to say the least but Sean Pratt's narration makes sense of it.


    Any additional comments?

    David Foster Wallace was able to capture some of my growing up moments without ever meeting me. The scene with the drunken father and his son Jim in the garage with the Montclair was like a scene from my life. Father wanting to relive their heyday through a child who is disinterested at best and repulsed at least.

    I have to admit that I sought Wikipedia for some insight into the book and found it quite helpful. The years are not numerical but corporate names which have been purchased like the names of some ball fields. Also the bad guys and their quest is a little hard to discover but Wiki lays it out.

    I also downloaded the PDF for the endnotes and as a habit, I read a group of them before I read the text so the flow for me is smooth.

    I was surprised to find myself in this book. Maybe you will too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JESPARX Miami 08-12-14
    JESPARX Miami 08-12-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not always easy, but worth the struggle."
    Any additional comments?

    It's a tough start. Didn't think I'd finish it. It all comes together, eventually.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sha 08-05-14
    Sha 08-05-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing mixed with author's literary self-pleasure"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Unless they really want to delve in to the addicted mind and psyche in which case it is probably worth reading - the author's insights into AA, addiction, and obsession are keen and thorough.


    What could David Foster Wallace have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I think that a good book should not need two reads for basic things like understanding key details. If you do want to tackle this book read about it first. You'll enjoy it MUCH more. It wasn't until a third of the way through the book that I figured out what "Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment" meant - that it was a reference to a year the same as "2016" might be (I have no clue if that's the corresponding year) and not some descriptive marker in one of the character's lives.

    The cultural setting should be introduced in a way that adds to the story and character development. Not so that it detracts from it. DFW leaves out crucial details until later in the story - details you NEED to understand when you START the story.

    The other aspect of the book that I don't enjoy at all is that a good bit of the prose is, from what I can tell, the author more or less taking immense pleasure in his own wit and writing craft. Given that I am not an author myself, I can't really speak to this in too much detail except to say that I could sense when DFW was going into "self pleasure mode" vs. actually writing a book.

    One of the key tenants of good literature, in my opinion, is that no part of it should be able to be removed without damaging the work. Some parts of this book could be removed, and the work would be improved. Omit ---- needless ---- words.

    Footnotes. Ugh. f you do some research, you'll discover that the footnotes are key for understanding the work, and more importantly from what I've read, you should read the footnotes as you are reading the book.

    If this is the case, then the footnotes should be read (perhaps by a different reader, say, for example, that woman that keeps interrupting us with footnote numbers) in line with the story itself. Doing so would certainly not detract from the story organization, since the whole thing is chaotically organized anyway.

    Some aspects of the story reflect DFW's sense of humor, which I do not like. I don't particularly find the wheeled legless Canadian special agents all that entertaining. I think it's kind of stupid, personally.

    The author gets some technical details so far wrong that it is distracting. For example, there is one scene where the sun casts a shadow across two figures over a city from a mountain. The author describes how the shadow of the figures grows and encompasses the whole city as the sun sets. Thats... uh... not at all how it works. The sun is bigger than a person, just a bit, and a person does not at all cast a shadow on a city any more than a small satellite that passes in front of the sun occludes the earth. Details like that, which are missed, are distracting.

    Lastly, the story is predictable. I had read about some kind of surprise ending. I found it to be totally predictable in pretty much every way after about a third of the way into it. The plot is unimaginative in this regard.



    Would you listen to another book narrated by Sean Pratt?

    Yes, the reader was great.


    Could you see Infinite Jest being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Ugh. It would be SO depressing.


    Any additional comments?

    Do not read this book unless you might enjoy diving into depression, addiction, loneliness, depravity, and unless you have a deep love of well crafted but otherwise useless sentences.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Assaf Lavie 07-29-14
    Assaf Lavie 07-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliantly narrated by Sean Pratt"
    What about Sean Pratt’s performance did you like?

    Sean Pratt's performance is by far the best I've experienced listening to an audio book. It's a masterpiece of emotional range, characters, accents and voices.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark United States 06-18-14
    Mark United States 06-18-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Infinitely boring..."
    What did you like best about Infinite Jest? What did you like least?

    I love some of his descriptions of place and people. But, I am not that terribly interested in tennis or drug addicts.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I did not finish the book.


    What does Sean Pratt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Sean had a voice that worked perfectly for this story. He did a great job.


    Did Infinite Jest inspire you to do anything?

    Download a different book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane LANGLEY, WA, United States 05-27-14
    Diane LANGLEY, WA, United States 05-27-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Sure"
    Would you try another book from David Foster Wallace and/or Sean Pratt?

    Don't know.


    What was most disappointing about David Foster Wallace’s story?

    My mind wanders, just like the story.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Once in awhile there was something funny, like realizing I too put packing tape near my phone.


    What character would you cut from Infinite Jest?

    Don't know.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm about 2/3 of the way into only the FIRST part. Keep telling myself to listen just a bit more and something grand will happen, but don't know if it's worth spending 50+ hours to possibly end up disappointed even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jm 05-20-14
    jm 05-20-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    73
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best performance ever"
    What made the experience of listening to Infinite Jest the most enjoyable?

    I am on my 3rd listening. This is an amazing work that I am at a loss to describe. The point of this review is to express how excellent the performance of the reader is. His tone matches the tone of the writing perfectly. It is truly an extraordinary performance.


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

    I have not, but I will. Sean Pratt is brilliant.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dylan Clayton, CA, United States 03-24-14
    Dylan Clayton, CA, United States 03-24-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good If You've Read Book Before"
    What did you love best about Infinite Jest?

    Would take too long to explain. But the 4th Grade version is: IT'S MAGICAL. I've never felt so attached to a book before. It's the kind of book/experience that forever after your ears perk up whenever you catch the slightest intonation of it being mentioned in a passing conversation, and then disregard all social inhibitions and start haranguing everyone in hearing distance about how great of a book it is, etc.


    What other book might you compare Infinite Jest to and why?

    Gravity's Rainbow. Gaddis' The Recognitions. Sharon Old's poetry.


    What does Sean Pratt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Consistant tone, and the absolute butchering of all words French.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Are You Prepared To Be Entertained? or Consider Your Entertainment.

    I'm not a copy writer.


    Any additional comments?

    Nope.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • pedersen.nyegaard@wanadoo.dk
    Århus, Denmark
    12/7/12
    Overall
    "Almost perfect"

    A treat. Brilliant reading of the most earth-shaking English prose in the last 30 (or more) years. David Foster Wallace is incomparable, and Sean Pratt's reading is dynamic and flexible - the only flaw being the end-notes which are not read, but which you have to read yourself (you receive a PDF-file when buying the audiobook). And yes, it's long, but it's well worth the time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • clive
    chesterfield, United Kingdom
    1/23/13
    Overall
    "Spectacular - don't be daunted"

    This is what audiobooks are for - listening to great, daunting seeming books you'd never read. This book is spectacular. You can't expect to have the loose ends tied up, or to know what's going on half the time, but you can expect to be gripped and thoroughly entertained and to fall into a different world. Definitely worth listening to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    SELBY, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "A Real Epic!"

    Downloaded this to listen to while I exercise and it's a real page-turner, so to speak! Definitely worth using a credit for, give it a go!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.