Do lobsters feel pain?
He addresses this and other important cultural questions in four brilliant esasays from his latest collection.
In what is sure to be a much-talked-about exploration of distinctly modern subjects, one of the sharpest minds of our time delves into some of life's most delicious topics.
This collection includes the following essays: "Consider the Lobster", "The View from Mrs. Thompson's", "Big Red Son", and "How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart".
©2005 David Foster Wallace. All Rights Reserved.; (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks. All Rights Reserved. A division of Time Warner Book Group.
"Wallace poses an unsettling challenge to the way many of us live now....This is strong stuff....It is Wallace's nostalgia for a lost meaningfulness...that gives his essays their particular urgency, their attractive mix of mordancy and humorous ruefulness....Few of his young peers have spoken as eloquently and feelingly as he has about the moral imagination that contemporary American life imposes on them." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Novelist Wallace might just be the smartest essayist writing today." (Publishers Weekly)
I had neither read nor listened to any of DFW's work, but I decided to check into it upon hearing of his recent death. Accolades called him our great lost voice and an amazing essayist. Well, he is a fantastic writer. These essays, about a lobster festival in Maine, a long essay about a porn awards ceremony, and another about his experience of 9/11 from the safe remove of Indiana are engaging and outstanding. He writes with a funny slant, great asides and observations. And he's laugh-out-loud funny. Also, check out his week-long tour with the John McCain press corps while a Rolling Stone correspondent in 2000 in another fine listen called "McCain's Promise"
This was a fantastic author read, much better than most. Wallace is a brilliant writer and hearing him read his own work adds to the experience of these essays.
The structure of the audiobook follows that of the print book - 3 separate essays. Each is thoughtful, well-written, and very entertaining.
My only disappointment with this audiobook is the fact that several of the articles and essays that are in the actual printed book are missing. Made me mad. Otherwise, bravo!
I bought this audiobook after the deeply saddening suicide of David Foster Wallace. He's one of the greatest minds of our time, and it's such a tragedy that he wasn't able to enjoy his life more. He had a lot to give.
His vocabulary is challenging and his humor is sharp. His narration made the listening experience extra-special.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
I will admit upfront that I am an unabashed fan of DFW. That being said, I think his books are best read on paper if only to experience the non-linear footnoted style and the odd little abbreviations like "w/r/t" that he liked to sprinkle through his prose. This is one of the few abridged books I have purchased at audible.com, and it was primarily just to hear what he sounded like. His own little spoken preface on solving the footnote problem with his recording editor is worth the price all by itself. I suppose it was too much to ask that he would record the entire unabridged book, so all we get is a sampling. DFW's essays are every bit as enjoyable as his fiction. His abilites to self-reflect, to consider the subject in detail, to explore all the angles, and to record the nuances of a situation, will be sadly missed.
Wise words from a sensitive thinker.
[It is not
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Stop listening to other people's opinions and form one of your own. That's sound advice, or not. It all depends on how literal you take it.
Tom Wolfe, Hunter S Thompson, and David F Wallace... There are just a few authors (journalist) that deserve to have their words stand long after the living have forgotten their faces and the world in which the words were penned has moved on. These guys and a handful of others deserve that right to live on into future.
There are four stories here and the Adult convention coverage story is worth the price of the book. Based on that painted horror of narrative, one needs to only halfway listen to understand that something is terribly wrong with the counterculture of the adult industry. Wallace shows us the truth of the misguided and mislead men and women that bare it all for the camera and what he reveals is not the golden rump in the haystack, but the basement rape of innocence and humanity... and I like porn (however, not nearly as much after listening to Wallace's account of the AVA in Vegas).
The Sept 11 account paints a wonderful picture of middle America on a beautiful late summer's morning and the horror that rocked the world. It captures a lot of the disbelief that such hatred and horror could find us on our own home turf and the despair of knowing that peace would now never be a possibility in this life time.
Buy the book. You will enjoy it.
While the abridgment is probably necessary given an essay like "Host," I was hoping to <i>hear</i> "Authority and American Usage." The conversational tone of that essay would fit this medium so very well--except for the nasally footnotes: but then, how <b>do</b> you handle audio footers?
Dead Man Dancing
I didn't buy the audiobook of "Infinite Jest" because of all the complaints about the foot-and-endnotes being omitted. I wanted me some DFW so I bought this book, which is a very pleasant listen. AND, it includes the footnotes. Wallace simply speaks to his listeners, explains how the notes will sound a bit different so you know when you're hearing them instead of the main text, and we're off. No problem. I had at first sympathized with the producers of IJ because it seemed like, yeah, that could be complicated. But it isn't. It's a bit mystifying that they didn't use the same technique. Oh, well...
Wallace has a pleasing voice, and it's great to hear him tackling some of his best writing. I wish the other essays from the book were also included, but what's here is top-drawer.
Great mind delivers a branching, beautifully incongruous narrative with boundless cynicism and witty despair. If he and hitchens ever bred, the world would implode.
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