Infinite Summer is now underway, and I’m pleased to see that a book I’m reading has spawned its own internet book club for the duration of this summer.
Infinite Jest is a book about a many things. It’s an epic saga. It’s really, really long. It’s by the late David Foster Wallace whose Consider the Lobster essay (commissioned by Gourmet magazine, hailed by PETA in their fight against lobster consumption) I found enlightening, well-written, and plain fun. His writing is clever and engaging, and his mixing of SAT words with colloquialisms should feel gratifying to all who ever had vocabulary flash cards.
I’m told that Infinite Jest has been read by everyone in UCI‘s English department.
In my case, I’ve not finished the book, though I’m around page 850 or so. That’s about September in the Infinite Summer syllabus, which allows about 75 pages per week, not including footnotes. You should know that some of the footnotes are short-story length. Some footnotes have their own footnotes.
Many of the book’s ideas are literally ridiculous. Yet it treats a number of serious themes on life and humanity, so I usually end up feeling more human after reading its pages.
So, in summary, I think the book is great, and the whole Infinite Summer idea is great too (you will be part of a big effort with a bunch of other people, happening right now). If you’re interested, check out his lobster essay first, because that’s article-length, rather than Bible-length.