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Extended Audio Sample Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays, by David Foster Wallace Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (13,700 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Foster Wallace Narrator: David Foster Wallace Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This hilarious books reveals David Foster Wallace as he delves further and further into his search for the original, the curious, or the merely mystifying.

Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone? What is John Updike’s deal, anyway? And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person? Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of a vicious presidential race, plunging into the wars between dictionary writers, or confronting the world’s largest lobster cooker at the annual Maine Lobster Festival, Wallace projects a quality of thought that is uniquely his and a voice as powerful and distinct as any in American letters.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A writer of virtuostic talents who can seemingly do anything.”

    New York Times

  • “Though this collection comprises a mere four hours on three discs, Wallace’s depth and breadth creates the sensation of a larger narrative—an audible confirmation that modern American writing continues to gain strength.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The uberliterate Wallace is a subtle Hunter Thompson, pointed, yet sly…[his] complex essays are written, and rightfully so, to be read more than once.”


  • “Wallace is a superb comedian of culture…his exuberance and intellectual impishness are a delight.”

    Gaurdian (London)

  • “Wallace reads his fresh, provocative essays with delicious irreverence, earning his place alongside the great social satirists of this, or any, time.”


  • One of the 2006 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kathleen Valentine | 2/19/2014

    " This collection of essays by David Foster Wallace is alternately funny, thought-provoking, and disturbing. The title essay, written for Gourmet Magazine examines the Maine Lobster Festival and asks whether lobsters know what is happening to them or not. But the most interesting essay was about the AVN Awards, the Oscars of the porn industry. It was funny but also disturbing as it discussed the trends toward the rise in porn that openly abuses, humiliates, and degrades women. A well-written collection. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Julie | 1/20/2014

    " It kills me that I can't mark this as completely read because I didn't read the last essay in the collection. I read all the other essays with rapid glee, slowed down a little with the opening essay about the porn movie movie rewards, got stuck swamp-style in the American Dictionary essay (it was good, but man, not really the kind of thing you want to read when you're tired or want to relax!). And then before I knew it the book was 10 days overdue at the library and I was forced to return it before I could read the very last essay in the collection. It's all good though, because this is definitely the kind of book I'd consider buying for myself anyway (or at least asking for as an Xmas present). I think "Up, Simba" (the McCain campaign essay) is one of the best pieces in here. It presented a lot of interesting ideas to me and made me think a lot about politics and how politicians represent themselves, the influence of the media and whether or not truth or a true self can exist at all in the harsh world of a political campaign. I also loved his review of that tennis player's crappy autobiography (her name is escaping me now, Tracy something?)--this piece in particular had a lot of foreshadowing for themes in "Infinite Jest" that I find really intriguing. Anyway, this is pretty classic David Foster Wallace. What a great man. What a sad loss. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Phil | 1/13/2014

    " David Foster Wallace is so good at thinking deeply on a subject and considering all the angles, and then easily explaining all those angles. You know everything that he's saying, but you haven't put it in words. He not only puts the issues into words, but puts them in words extremely beautifully. It makes me really sad that he's gone. Not only because he can't continue dissecting all kinds of issues and explaining them to us completely with candor and wit, but also because he obviously had such a sharp mind that produced the decision that exiting this life was the best thing to do. It makes me very sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dave Lievens | 12/16/2013

    " Great stuff from a great mind, but uneven, and some of the essays were just too long. I'd highly recommend the essays "Big Red Son," "Up, Simba," and "Authority and American Usage," but the rest didn't dazzle me. "

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