Extended Audio Sample

Download Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace Audiobook, by David Lipsky Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,671 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Lipsky Narrator: Danny Campbell, Mike Chamberlain Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9780307736109
Regular Price: $17.50 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

An indelible portrait of David Foster Wallace, by turns funny and inspiring, based on a five-day trip with award-winning writer David Lipsky during Wallace’s Infinite Jest tour 

In David Lipsky’s view, David Foster Wallace was the best young writer in America. Wallace’s pieces for Harper’s magazine in the 1990s were, according to Lipsky, “like hearing for the first time the brain voice of everybody I knew: Here was how we all talked, experienced, thought. It was like smelling the damp in the air, seeing the first flash from a storm a mile away. You knew something gigantic was coming.”

Then Rolling Stone sent Lipsky to join Wallace on the last leg of his book tour for Infinite Jest, the novel that made him internationally famous. They lose to each other at chess. They get iced-in at an airport. They dash to Chicago to catch a make-up flight. They endure a terrible reader’s escort in Minneapolis. Wallace does a reading, a signing, an NPR appearance. Wallace gives in and imbibes titanic amounts of hotel television (what he calls an “orgy of spectation”). They fly back to Illinois, drive home, walk Wallace’s dogs. Amid these everyday events, Wallace tells Lipsky remarkable things—everything he can about his life, how he feels, what he thinks, what terrifies and fascinates and confounds him—in the writing voice Lipsky had come to love. Lipsky took notes, stopped envying him, and came to feel about him—that grateful, awake feeling—the same way he felt about Infinite Jest. Then Lipsky heads to the airport, and Wallace goes to a dance at a Baptist church.

A biography in five days, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself is David Foster Wallace as few experienced this great American writer. Told in his own words, here is Wallace’s own story, and his astonishing, humane, alert way of looking at the world; here are stories of being a young writer—of being young generally—trying to knit together your ideas of who you should be and who other people expect you to be, and of being young in March of 1996. And of what it was like to be with and—as he tells it—what it was like to become David Foster Wallace.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_002251

Quotes & Awards

  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

  • Lipsky’s transcript of their brilliant conversations reads like a two-man Tom Stoppard play or a four-handed duet scored for typewriter. Lev Grossman, Time Magazine
     
  • For readers unfamiliar with the sometimes intimidating Wallace oeuvre, Lipsky has provided a conversational entry point into the writer’s thought process. It’s odd to think that a book about Wallace could serve both the newbies and the hard-cores, but here it is…You get the feeling that Wallace himself might have given Lipsky an award for being a conversationalist…we have the pleasure of reading two sharp writers who can spar good-naturedly with one another… What we have here is Wallace’s voice. Seth Colter Wallis, Newsweek
     
  • Insightful… Lipsky seems at ease with Foster Wallace, despite being awed by his fame and talent. More importantly, Foster Wallace seems relatively at ease with Lipsky. The two men drive through the raw and icy Midwest, all the while trying to make sense of art, politics, writing, and what it means to be alive. Lee Ellis, The New Yorker Book Bench
     
  • The reader goes inside the cars, airports, and big-portioned Midwestern restaurants with the two men and, ultimately, inside Wallace’s head. Stephen Kurtz, The Wall Street Journal
     
  • Crushingly poignant… It’s impossible for anyone who ever fell in love with Wallace’s prose not to read Lipsky’s account looking for clues… The rapport that he and Wallace built during the course of the road trip is both endearing and fascinating. At the end, it feels like you’ve listened to two good friends talk about life, about literature, about all of their mutual loves…his fans and his readers at least have this: a startlingly sad yet deeply funny postscript to the career of one of the most interesting American writers of all time. Michael Schaub, National Public Radio
  • Required reading… Lipsky not only got the local color of a book tour. Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008, let loose with his life story in the week-long conversation. Billy Heller, New York Post
  • Compelling…The conversations are far-reaching, insightful, silly, very funny, profound, surprising, and awfully human…a profoundly curious and alive personality…Ultimately, the only person who can talk about David Foster Wallace is, apparently, David Foster Wallace. Menachem Kaiser, The Atlantic
  • One thing that the book makes clear is that Wallace’s vigor and awe-inspiring writing was, in some ways, part of a deeply intricate personal effort to beat death…The book has some elements of good fiction: blind spots, character development, and a powerful narrative arc. By the end, no amount of sadness can stand in the way of this author’s personality, humor, and awe-inspiring linguistic command. His commentary reveals how much he lived the themes of his writing; all of his ideas about addiction, entertainment, and loneliness were bouncing around in his head relentlessly. Most of all, this book captures  Wallace’s mental energy, what his ex-girlfriend Mary Karr calls ‘wattage,’ which remains undimmed. Michael Miller, Time Out
  • Exhilarating…All that’s left now are the words on the page—and on the pages of Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, too, with the voices they conjure of two writers talking, talking, talking as they drive through the night. Laura Miller, Salon
  • Lipsky is not telling us about Wallace’s life: He is showing Wallace living his life…One thing is certain: If you didn’t already love Wallace, this book will make you love him…Wallace’s humor, his pathos, his brilliant delivery—his tendency to explore the experience of living even as he’s living it—make this book sing. If art is a way of caring for others, Wallace cares for us through the novels, short stories, and essays he left behind. And Lipsky, in the wake of Wallace’s death, gives us a narrative that does the same. Alicia Rouverol, The Christian Science Monitor
  • It’s a road picture, a love story, a contest: two talented, brilliant young men with literary ambitions, and their struggle to understand one another …You wish yourself into the back seat as you read, come up with your own contributions and quarrels…the wry commentary of the now-mature and very gifted Lipsky, is original, and intoxicatingly intimate. Maria Bustillos, The Awl
     
  • A gift… The reader, hanging out with Wallace vicariously, gets the sense of jogging along with a world-class sprinter…Wallace’s writing illuminates the painful truth that life can be unbearable. But we owe it to him not to let those passages eclipse the vitality that made his prose, and his readers, come alive. Michael O’Donnell, Washington Monthly
  • A remarkable book…A heartbreaking and surprisingly intimate visit with a giant talent…Lipsky is a skilled interviewer and a terrific writer and so what we end up with is far, far beyond what might be expected. One of the great literary minds of his generation speaking frankly and at length with an award winning journalist who, himself, has a great deal to say... I doubt, however, we’ll see another portrait that cuts quite this close to the bone…You hear Foster Wallace’s amazing voice on every page. And your heart breaks all over again. Linda Richards, January Magazine
  • Wallace was the next great voice of a young generation. But he wasn’t a dweeb-child shut-in hiding with books. He was a big handsome dude who played football and tennis, chewed tobacco, cussed, watching action movies and ticking off references to Hobbes and Dostoyevsky while mixing in Stephen King and Alanis Morisette… A trip into the mind of a writer who owned a dazzling style and a prescient view of modern culture. Mike Kilen, The Des Moines Register
  • A hauntingly beautiful portrait of Wallace as a young artist, a raw and honest account of a writer struggling with what it means to have all of his dearest dreams come true…As readers, we’re given unfettered access to Wallace’s incredible wit… Although haunted by it, this is not a book about his death; it’s a book about his life. Lipsky has given us a true gem: Wallace in his own words, in a voice that remains vibrant, hopeful, and frank even after its speaker has been silenced. We all may know how it ends, but Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself takes us back to where it all began. Stephanie Hlywak, Flavorwire
     
  • By mostly ignoring Wallace’s death, Lipsky offers an affecting and meaningful picture of his life: a showcase for the writer in rough cut, for his voice, his interests and his foibles. The book stands as a valuable companion to Wallace’s own work, but it’s also an enjoyable read on its own, something to tide Wallace fans over until his last, unfinished, novel is released next year. National Post
  • A portrait of the artist as newly famous. It’s part biography, part road trip; we hear him at his most conceptual, expounding on his theories on writing, but also get a glimpse of him as a self-described ‘normal guy,’… He answers Lipsky’s questions in an infectious mixture of academically precise terms and peppery slang. The gravitational pull of Wallace’s charm is on full display, as is his hyper-intelligence, electric sense of humor, and staggering self-awareness…almost unbearably heart-wrenching…Although of Course offers a glimpse of Wallace in his prime for those of us who weren’t lucky enough to know him outside of his books. Margaret Eby, The Brooklyn Rail
  • David Foster Wallace was, to many, the writer of his generation… An in-depth rendering of a writer whose effect on his generation was matched by few others…It is candid, intimate, personal, exploding with culture—pop and otherwise. Jeff Simon, Buffalo News
     
  • [Wallace] is lucid, entertaining, self-critical, constantly self-reflective—and to read this book is to meet this personality… these talks changed [Lipsky’s] life, gave him phrases that have stayed with him forever. This poignant book will do the same thing for many readers. Edmundo Paz Soldàn, El Mostrador (Chile)
     
  • If you’re a writer, or even if you just believe that art can nourish us somehow, you will read this book and feel changed. The odd thing is, you feel hopeful, too.
    Bookslut
     
  • Full of everyman details about a writer who often seemed larger than life… Throughout the book, astonishingly profound things are said in airport parking lots and rental-car cockpits… As Lipsky writes, the author’s singular achievement, especially in his non-fiction, was capturing ‘everybody’s brain voice’; Wallace’s writing sounds the way we think, or at least the way we like to think we think…We may never have a better record of what it sounded like to hear Wallace talk... Rolling Stone sent the right guy. Zach Baron, Bookforum
     
  • Lipsky’s recordings of five days’ worth of the writer’s brainy and passionate riffing on the nature of mind, the purpose of literature, and the pitfalls of both academia and entertainment are incredibly poignant. Lipsky vividly and incisively sets the before-and-after scenes for this revelatory oral history, in which Wallace is at once candid and cautious, funny and flinty, spellbinding and erudite as he articulates remarkably complex insights into depression, fiction that captures the ‘cognitive texture’ of our time, and fame’s double edge. Wild about movies, prescient about the impact of the Internet, and happiest writing, Wallace is radiantly present in this intimate portrait, a generous and refined work that will sustain Wallace’s masterful and innovative books long into the future. Donna Seaman, Booklist
  • Among the repetitions, ellipses, and fumbling that make Wallace’s patter so compellingly real are observations as elegant and insightful as his essays. Prescient, funny, earnest, and honest, this lost conversation is far from an opportunistic piece of literary ephemera, but a candid and fascinating glimpse into a uniquely brilliant and very troubled writer.  Publishers Weekly (starred review)
     
  • A glimpse into the mind of one of the great literary masters of the end of the 20th century…What shines through even more is his deep passion for writing and ideas and his kind, gentle nature…Many fans of Wallace’s writing come to think of him as a friend—by the time they have finished Lipsky’s moving book, they will undoubtedly feel that even more strongly. Library Journal

  • “Insightful, silly, very funny, profound, surprising, and awfully human.”

    Atlantic

  • “Crushingly poignant…Startlingly sad yet deeply funny…a startlingly sad yet deeply funny postscript to the career of one of the most interesting American writers of all time.”

    NPR

  • “Lipsky’s transcript of their brilliant conversations reads like a two-man Tom Stoppard play or a four-handed duet scored for typewriter.”

    Time

  • “Exhilarating.”

    Salon

  • “Insightful.”

    New Yorker

  • “Wallace’s aliveness is the most compelling part of this book. His humor, his pathos, his brilliant delivery—his tendency to explore the experience of living even as he’s living it—make this book sing. If art is a way of caring for others, Wallace cares for us through the novels, short stories, and essays he left behind. And Lipsky, in the wake of Wallace’s death, gives us a narrative that does the same.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Most of all, this book captures  Wallace’s mental energy, what his ex-girlfriend Mary Karr calls ‘wattage,’ which remains undimmed.”

    Time Out New York

  • “A trip into the mind of a writer who owned a dazzling style and a prescient view of modern culture.”

    Des Moines Register

  • “It is candid, intimate, personal, exploding with culture pop and otherwise.”

    Buffalo News

  • “A candid and fascinating glimpse into a uniquely brilliant and very troubled writer.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Many fans of Wallace’s writing come to think of him as a friend—by the time they have finished Lipsky’s moving book, they will undoubtedly feel that even more strongly.” 

    Library Journal

  • “A generous and refined work that will sustain Wallace’s masterful and innovative books long into the future.”

    Booklist

  • “We may never have a better record of what it sounded like to hear Wallace talk…Rolling Stone sent the right guy.”

    Bookforum

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Rybicki | 2/8/2014

    " I'm glad Lipsky published this. Along with the sections of Mary Karr's "Lit" about Wallace, they function as two parts of the triagulation of a signal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheri Savill | 2/5/2014

    " This one is only for the hard-core DFW fan. You know who you are. I loved it. What a huge, huge, loss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Sawyer | 2/3/2014

    " The next best thing to actually being able to meet the man. I never knew him, but I miss him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 1/30/2014

    " Reading this was kind of like one of those dreams where someone who has died is mysteriously alive again and you're talking to them and going, "it's so great, you were dead, but now I can talk to you..." and then you wake up. In this book, you wake up when Lipsky inserts a parenthetic post-script reflection on how some comments by DFW from their long conversations in 1996 relate to his sad ending in 2008. What shines through is not just DFW's supernova intellectual brilliance but also what a decent and funny guy he was - what I love most about his work. Lipsky himself is occasionally annoying (mostly the 1996 version of him, which the older version of him acknowledges)...this is mitigated by the fact that most of the book consists of their conversations, verbatim, with all DFW's aforementioned qualities. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle York | 1/26/2014

    " David Foster Wallace is one of my absolute favorite writers, and this book was a rare and wonderful opportunity to just sort of, hang around him. You get to hear his thoughts on fiction in general (some great stuff on the purposes of fiction-- capturing the mental landscape our our time (how the world feels on our 'nerve endings'), breaking the wall between the interior lives of the writer and reader and combating lonlieness, being able to take the time to think about and point out things that the reader has always been aware of but not ever really able to articulate and thereby remind the reader that they were already smart and perceptive (sort of the opposite message of a lot of telivision.) But then there's also these more banal and somehow more intimate moments where you just get to sort of see what its like to go to MacDonalds with DFW, or hang out with DFW and his dogs while he chews tobacco and smokes. One the the reasons this book works so well is that DFW really seems to open up to Lipsky-- he seems to like Lipsky and really makes himself venurable at times. He was open and warm as an interviewee. Lipsky was also a great interviewer. The formatting of the book is wonderful, and sort of drifts from being in the scene to a refreshing pull back to Lipsky in the editing room, or Lipsky reflecting about the scene after DFW's death. As sort of warmly open and sloppy as David's speech is, Lipsy tightens his own up. The square brackets are somehow great, I can't really say why. Lipsy also gets along really well with DFW, but at the same time presses him on uncomfortable issues that need to be pressed. For example, he's ever villigant that David's putting on a front, and it's this villagance that in the end lets us see that David really isn't putting one on. A wonderful read that's over all too soon, and leaves you feeling sort of sad, like you're parting with a friend (a sort of wierd phenomonon that's also commented on by DFW in the book.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joel | 1/18/2014

    " Was hoping that this wasn't one of those books that tries to cash in on the loss of DFW. That hope was completely misplaced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Krans | 12/27/2013

    " This book was so good I missed a flight because of it. Yes, I was already through security and waiting at the gate next to the one I was supposed to be at. Missed every time they paged me because I was too busy reading about the side of David Foster Wallace that is missed the most. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Grasso | 12/8/2013

    " So sad to read, and so inspiring. DFW was absolutely prescient on two 21st century phenomena: the Web and right-wing politics. The way he was prescient didn't come out in Infinite Jest, but comes out here in this 1996 interview. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thorn MotherIssues | 5/7/2013

    " Read on Kindle for iPad as a road trip book. I do, as expected, want to reread the introductions after finishing the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 12/28/2012

    " I did like the book better than I was anticipating although there was a lot of redundancy in the questions to DFW. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric Schleder | 4/2/2012

    " Thank you, thank you, thank you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ingrid Lola | 11/5/2011

    " I loved the structure of this book - it's basically a transcription of a long conversation with DFW. I liked feeling like I was really getting to know him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 5/17/2011

    " David Foster Wallace is the first author since Eggers that I would relish the opportunity to listen to his thoughts about anything and everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 AdultNonFiction | 5/11/2011

    " Teton Co Libary call Number: 813.54 LIPSKY
    Marisa's rating: 4 stars

    Great interview! A book length conversation with one of the contemporary literary greats- thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marisa | 5/11/2011

    " Great interview! A book length conversation with one of the contemporary literary greats- thought provoking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 5/11/2011

    " Great stuff from DFW, not-so-great stuff at all from Lipsky. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 4/21/2011

    " Absorbing, moving and sad. Sometimes quite funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zach | 4/10/2011

    " I feel like this book could have used a little editing, but that probably runs counter to what Lipsky wanted to present, which was a look into what it was like to hang out with DFW without any of his own intervention. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author David LipskyDAVID LIPSKY is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.  His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Magazine Writing, the New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, and many other publications.  He contributes as an essayist to NPR's All Things Considered and is the recipient of a Lambert Fellowship, a Media Award from GLAAD, and a National Magazine Award.  He's the author of the novel The Art Fair; a collection of stories, Three Thousand Dollars; and the bestselling nonfiction book Absolutely American, which was a Time magazine Best Book of the Year.
About the Narrators

Danny Campbell is an actor who has appeared in CBS’ The Guardian, the films A Pool, a Fool, and a Duel and Greater Than Gravity, and in over twenty-five commercials. Winner of two AudioFile Earphones Awards, he has narrated Once a Spy by Keith Thomson and read the part of David Foster Wallace in Mike Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, among many others. He is a member of the adjunct faculty in the theater arts department at Santa Monica College.

Mike Chamberlain is an actor and voice-over performer in Los Angeles. His voice credits range from radio commercials and television narration to animation and video game characters. Stage trained at Boston College, he has performed works from Shakespeare and the classics to contemporary drama and comedy. His audiobook narration has won four AudioFile Earphones Awards.