Monday, July 12, 2010

Decided not to flog myself through Infinite Jest

There comes a point in everyone's life when they realize there's only so many remaining books they'll have time to read in their life. Having realized that, i'm limiting myself to either good books or at least enjoyable ones; unfortunately Infinite Jest counts as neither.

You cannot care about the characters; the entire plot of the 983 page tome (+ footnotes) was summed by Wikipedia in one medium sized paragraph. Unlike Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell that footnotes add little as either entertainment or illumination.

The tennis sections were covered in a far superior (and shorter) fashion in A Supposedly fun thing i'll never do again.

I would recommend the first chapter only - a well written good hook contrasting the interior monologue of the protagonist with the reaction by outsiders; sadly the remaining novel does not live up to that chapter. The title object - Infinite Jest video tape - was too reminiscent of Monty Python's killer joke.

The novel isn't hard to read in the sense that Proust or Joyce or Burroughs - i did make it through 100+ pages, but then my mother gave me Zeitoun about Katrina & i realized how much more i was enjoying reading it. The only reason to finish Infinite Jest is to be able to say that i made it through, and i've passed that stage in my life.

It could be that Wallace & Rushdie were both far superior non-fiction than novel writers as their essays were superior to Infinite Jest, Midnight's Children & Satanic Verses.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?