Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Because I have too much time on my hands

I am, as of right now, five pages shy of being exactly halfway through Infinite Jest. That's page 485, if you don't want to look it up. It is both amazing, and funny, and nearly impossible to actually read. What's weirder, is that it mentions Syracuse NY several times, and prominently features Tennis (which is something I've been getting into quite a lot, lately) and AA (which is something I know a lot about) and Boston (a city I'm lucky to be pretty familiar with, despite never actually having lived there). And it's scarily accurate about all three of these things. It's also one of the more unbelievable books I've ever read.

Being halfway through, all I can say is it feels worth it just for the accomplishment. It's not at all boring or difficult in any traditional way. DFW uses big words -- sure, and the footnotes are sometimes silly, but not particularly annoying. Not nearly as annoying as you might suspect. Actually, I find that he has certain mannerisms of writing that stick in the head much more, that I'm much more tempted to employ myself, that I find far, far more annoying than the footnotes.

No, what makes this particular book almost impossible to read, I'm just not sure of. I like it, I'm already drawn to the material, but every time I sit down to read a section, I get through about 1/3 of a page and I start to nod off. I drink coffee, I change chairs, I put myself under bright lights -- nothing doing. And I *want* to read this book, god dammit! I *will* finish it! But it's like some kind of marathon. I've been reading it for the better part of the summer now. I've had to read other books in between, just to keep myself going back to it. I'm watching my potential summer reading list shrink because I'm determined to finish this book.

However, it's also funny as hell, and weirdly dated, given that it was only written ten years ago. And weirdly prescient, but only about a few things. There's no internet!

okay, enough. back to reading.d

1 comment:

Karen said...

Your wife is waiting patiently in NYC for a book to read on her daily commute that will also build her upper body muscle mass.