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Infinite Jest: A Reader’s Guide by Stephen Burn

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This slim 92 page book is interesting, but far from definitive. Good ideas. Too much unexplored. I’m still betting the drug DMZ was being synthesized by the mold in Hal’s intestine that he ingested when he was a kid. I especially liked the timeline at the end. (2005 is the Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken.) Worth the price of admission for Infinite Jest fans.

About kidneynotes

  • Phillip Winn

    Hey, how about something of a clue about what you’re trying to talk about, eh? Like an Amazon link, or more than a few sentences, or something. :-)

  • Rodney Welch

    My thoughts exactly, Phillip.

  • Phillip Winn

    It was 1am, and I read this and cocked my head to one side (the right) and said, “Huh?” I said it out loud, too, which was alarming to me, having heard no human voice other than The Duke’s (via podcast) for about an hour.

    I was then visited by a sort of monomania that is only common at 1am, and I poked around. The thing is, a guy who goes by the initials DFW wrote this book, Infinite Jest, which is quite popular with the Gen-Xers. This came as somewhat of a non-surprise to me, a Gen-Xer, since the title was slowly burrowing its way through my brain and encountering some familiar synapses. I’ve never read the book, but I think I’ve heard of it. I suspect that the primary reason I’ve never read it is that it clocks in at 1088 pages in paperback. Wordy guy, that David Foster Wallace.

    The item being reviewed, then, is a reader’s guide. A 92-page book explaining and describing the original 1088-page book. And this article, then, is a one-paragraph review of a 92-page book which explains another 1088-page book.

    All of which, one might think, could have been explained a touch more clearly within the review itself. :-)

  • Rodney Welch

    Yeah, I actually started the book once, many years ago — and whoever DMZ was, I’ve forgotten. If you’re gonna post, for God’s sakes act like someone is going to read it.

  • Eric Olsen

    kn, brief is fine but all stories do have to be able to stand alone. We cannot assume that the reader knows what we are talking about, we have to tell him/her.

  • Aaman

    THis sounds like a review written in infinite jest of the same

  • DrPat

    The drug DMZ (dimetridazole) is an antiprotozoal substance that is used to maintain the health of certain farm animals, chiefly fowl.

    There is some concern that DMZ retained in the bird-flesh may be mutagenic in humans, even though studies have shown repeatedly that no such effect is produced in mammals. Fruit-flies, however, had better avoid supping on DMZ-dosed pheasant or turkey…

  • No Name

    Stephen Burn is the SHIT! I heart him. Seriously.