Mary | 2/12/2014
" If you read "Incarnations of Burnt Children" and don't cry, I really have no use for you. "
Eileen | 2/10/2014
" His short-stories are hard to read, but they're still great to read all the same. So far I like it -- we'll see if I end up loving it! =) "
Linda | 2/9/2014
" oh he is a wordy bastard and is a master of description. Not his best work, a bit of a slog "
brain | 2/7/2014
" I had like two paragraphs typed up and then I decided I didn't like them. Now then. This book is what fiction and hence art Should Do - attempt to understand what it is to be a person. I wish there would be more. "
Jessica | 1/2/2014
" I clearly don't get the genius of David Foster Wallace's writing, though I wish I did! "
William Milton | 1/2/2014
" I couldn't get into it. I know he was brilliant, but he must be the king of long paragraphs. "
Daniel King | 1/1/2014
" Based on some negative reviews I had read of this book, I started reading it expecting to be disappointed. Far from it; it actually ended up sucking me in, and I thought that it was an excellent read overall. Some stories are far stronger than others, of course. "Good Old Neon" and "The Soul is Not a Smithy" were my two favorites, the former because it seemed the most moving, personal story in the collection, and the latter simply because I thought it was a very unique approach to what could have been a more conventional story (this could be said of a great deal of Wallace's work, but I thought that his style of writing really lent itself well to "The Soul is Not a Smithy"'s plot and structure). The weakest stories in the collection, in my opinion, were "Mister Squishy," and "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature." Wallace's trademark style of not providing real conclusions to his stories works for me a lot of the time, but in the case of these two pieces I found myself wishing that just once he could have given the reader a bit more to go on.
I also loved the last, and longest, story in the collection, "The Suffering Channel". I am a huge fan of "Infinite Jest," and to me "The Suffering Channel" read like a miniaturized version of that novel. One review I read claimed it's the most conventional story of the lot, which in my opinion is a description similar to "the skinniest kid at fat camp" or something like that. The story is set in July 2001, and its characters all work in NYC's World Trade Center. As such, I feel that Wallace's habit of not wrapping up stories properly works particularly well in this case. He doesn't provide a real conclusion to the narrative, but in a way he doesn't need to; the reader knows that the majority of the characters are doomed, and this dramatic irony makes the story extremely morbid and yet also, ultimately more satisfying than a few of the others in the collection.
Overall, I would recommend "Oblivion" to any David Foster Wallace fan, as well as anyone who wants to get into his work but doesn't feel like laboring through "Infinite Jest". "
Marcie Palmer | 1/1/2014
" Months after reading these stories, I'm still thinking about them. They're sticky, like a seemingly absurd dream that nevertheless asserts its reality in your mind, blending in with and sometimes dominating over episodes remembered from from waking life. "
stephanie | 12/25/2013
" i don't know, dude, i just like your nonfiction better. "
Timothy | 12/1/2013
" Fun reading, makes me miss last summer's reading of Infinite Jest. "
Chris Harriman | 11/24/2013
" Some stories are better than others, but the book is worth buying for "Good Old Neon" alone, possibly the best short story I've read. "
Lee | 11/12/2013
" Read this when it came out, read the first story when it appeared in McSweeney's under a pseudonym, thought he was losing it at the time, thought I'd re-read it now, not gonna do it now however "
Greg | 11/11/2013
" dude knows all kinda words "
Jason | 9/23/2013
" Intelligence, savage humor, and a few uncomfortable truths woven into eight mesmerizing stories of modern disillusionment. Difficult at times, but well worth the effort. Favorite stories: "Mister Squishy," "The Soul Is Not A Smithy," "Good Old Neon," and "The Suffering Channel." "
Chuck | 4/15/2013
" Can I still consider myself a DFW fan if I got so bored and bogged down in this book that I stopped reading it? "
Max Jackson | 7/31/2012
" A bit headier and more involuted than Brief Interviews, but still extremely good. "