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Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (Selected Essays) | [David Foster Wallace]

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (Selected Essays)

Long renowned as one of the smartest writers on the loose, David Foster Wallace reveals himself in Consider the Lobster to be also one of the funniest. In this program, he ranges far and farther in his search for the original, the curious, or the merely mystifying. He discovers the World's Largest Lobster Cooker at the Maine Lobster Festival and confronts the inevitable question just beyond the butter-or-cocktail-sauce quandary.
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Publisher's Summary

Long renowned as one of the smartest writers on the loose, David Foster Wallace reveals himself in Consider the Lobster to be also one of the funniest. In this program, he ranges far and farther in his search for the original, the curious, or the merely mystifying. He discovers the World's Largest Lobster Cooker at the Maine Lobster Festival and confronts the inevitable question just beyond the butter-or-cocktail-sauce quandary.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (316 )
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  •  
    Rick New Rochelle, NY, USA 11-25-08
    Rick New Rochelle, NY, USA 11-25-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "David Foster Wallace...a good place to start"

    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"

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kat ANNANDALE, NJ, United States 11-10-08
    Kat ANNANDALE, NJ, United States 11-10-08 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Author Read"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Kailua-Kona, HI, USA 03-23-09
    Elizabeth Kailua-Kona, HI, USA 03-23-09
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    "What a Great Writer!"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-07-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-07-12 Member Since 2006

    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.

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    "A chance to hear his voice"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DSD Georgia 08-15-13
    DSD Georgia 08-15-13 Listener Since 2009

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great set of mind"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-20-12
    02-20-12 Member Since 2006
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    "DFW Rocks!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Wise words from a sensitive thinker.


    What other book might you compare Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (Selected Essays) to and why?

    [It is not


    Which character ??? as performed by David Foster Wallace ??? was your favorite?

    clear how


    What???s the most interesting tidbit you???ve picked up from this book?

    to finish


    Any additional comments?

    this review and submit it.]

    Next page? Preview?

    Ah, Preview finally just changed from unavailable to available. I can't figure out how that happened, but there must be a minimum comments before that icon becomes available.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsay Windsor, Ontario, Canada 07-24-13
    Lindsay Windsor, Ontario, Canada 07-24-13
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    "Creative non fiction at its (auditory) best"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Hilarious - insightful - cutting straight to the bone. These are timeless essays, each poking into a hidden world: from behind-the-scenes porn stars, to simply a few old women from Ohio, reacting to 9/11. Those seem like they could fall culprit to easy cliches, but with DFW's brilliant observations and writing, everything seems fresh. This audiobook will go by instantly. Highly recommended if you like Malcolm Gladwell, Joan Didion, David Rakoff and the like.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Marietta, GA, United States 04-04-13
    Stephen Marietta, GA, United States 04-04-13 Member Since 2012

    I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.

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    "David Foster Wallace at his best"
    Where does Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (Selected Essays) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Anything by David Wallace is great, but specifically his two collections of nonfiction essays (this being one of them). The title piece is my personal favorite, but hearing him discuss the AVN awards is classic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a couple of stories, so I'll just say it was both informative and entertaining.


    What about David Foster Wallace’s performance did you like?

    His dry sense of humor.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The title story regarding the Lobster festival made me think differently regarding what I eat, specifically lobster..


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cat's pajamas 07-31-12 Member Since 2008
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    "DFW Delivers - - Again"
    Would you listen to Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (Selected Essays) again? Why?

    This is a fantastic collection - and narrated by the Man himself pushes it over the edge of good into a "must listen".

    It's disappointingly "abridged" - that's all the negative I've got to say.


    Have you listened to any of David Foster Wallace???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes - I listened to "This is Water" and I saw him read live at a Barnes and Noble in NYC in the late 90s.

    How does this compare? It's good. Very good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael Cedar Grove, NJ, United States 03-12-12
    michael Cedar Grove, NJ, United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2011

    documentary filmmaker

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    "Too short"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook. David Foster Wallace had a knack for insight that is rare. I was sad to see that this book was abridged. The essays were wonderful as always but it was over too soon.


    What does David Foster Wallace bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    David's reading was not the best I've heard. He's a little monotonous. But it was nice to hear his voice and it worked well enough for these essays.


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

    I wanted to save this book for an upcoming car trip but I could help myself and I ended up listening to it all before I left!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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