I just finished reading Infinite Jest (IJ), David Foster Wallace’s monumental work of fiction. Regular readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of Wallace’s work and if you read the links section — over on the sidebar — you’d have noticed several links about him or his work from time to time.
Infinite Jest is a huge book and it took me months to finish it. The sole reason for being able to finish the book was a wonderful initiative called Infinite Summer. My thanks to the guys behind the website for doing this – I really don’t know when / if I would’ve read the book. It had been sitting on my to-read pile for a few months.
I will post more about the book and about reading the book later. I just wanted to share a few preliminary thoughts.
- IJ is the longest work of literary fiction I’ve read (1000+ pages including footnotes).
- It is not the toughest work of fiction I’ve ever read. Contrary to many people’s experiences, I’ve found other novels much harder to plough through. True History of the Kelly Gang is one book that comes to mind.
- It is the most haunting book of fiction I’ve read. (And, No, it’s not a ghost story.)
- It is the most non-linear work of fiction I’ve read. The book’s structure apparently has fractal-like qualities.
- It is a book that, initially, I couldn’t wait for to get going but towards the end, I didn’t want it to end. (I have a sneaking suspicion that Wallace made the book harder to put down towards the end when you don’t want it to end. Think going down a hill on a bicycle with no brakes.)
- It is the only book that I started re-reading (the first few pages) immediately after I had finished the book. Seriously.
- It is a book that makes me want to try giving literary fiction a chance again. (I’m a notorious non-reader of all things literary.)
- It is a brilliant, earnest, and an enriching piece of fiction. Every time I read pages in the book, I was always amazed by the sheer genius of David Foster Wallace. He was truly a great one.
I don’t know how to end this post.