Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Supposedly Fun Thing by David Foster Wallace

A Supposedly Fun Thing by David Foster Wallace is a collection of humorous essays of various lengths, up to 100 pages. The opening essay is about playing junior tennis in southern Illinois recounting how his analytical abilities allowed him to succeed with a dearth of actual athletic ability. This advantage failed him as his opponents reached puberty and the play moved to better courts with wind screens and flat surfaces. Regardless, of how that sounds, I found this introspection enjoyable.

The next selection was a rant about culture and TV. It started okay, but the length lead to repetition and ennui. The same was true of the title selection, A supposedly funny thing I'll never do again, about a cruise in the Caribbean. This latter essay was filled with humorous, biting observations, but, alas, it dragged on to long.

The book's style is simultaneously erudite, analytical, and satiric. If that appeals to you, ad nauseam, this might be the book for you. It didn't work for me.

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