Monday, August 31, 2015

Infinite Jest

It was in my reading queue for a long time.  And I kept passing it over for two reasons:  1.   I rarely read fiction  2.  It's hella long at over 1000 pages.  Mostly the latter.  Because was I ever going to have the time to do justice to reading 484,001 words?  Especially that of David Foster Wallace,  "one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years", according to an LA Times book editor?  I wasn't.  But, it was his magnum opus.  And there is a movie, The End of the Tour, coming out about his life.  I had to read it and it had to be now.

When I read a book, I devour it.  It takes me a week or less from beginning to end.  Because I'm a quick read.  Also, because I have a terrible memory and if I put it down for long I'll forget things.  Important things.   Where did I leave off?  Who is that character?   And what the hell book am I reading again anyway?  I call this condition booknesia.  And it's incurable.

Being a busy mom doesn't help, because I don't have uninterrupted reading time.  Ever.  I carve out niches wherever I can.  So I read it at the pool, keeping one eye on the diving board so I don't miss a flip and another on whether the kids have forgotten to zip up the cooler.   Again.  I read at gymnastics in a hot, crowded room full of other parents and small children.  Once sitting directly in front of a mom signing Disney songs with her 4 year old FOR THE ENTIRE HOUR.  (I kid you not.)  All while keeping one eye on my kid so I don't miss a flip.  I read it in my car.  In doctor's offices.  And brought it camping, so it eternally smells like campfire.  Essentially,  I read everywhere.  Without any distractions, obviously.

And after reading this work of genius about being addicted to addictions with intricate stories within stories, I can tell you a few things.  Carrying a humongous book around is an incredible social barrier.  People are intimidated by it and, thus, you.  No one makes small talk when you carry a big book.  (I think that's a Roosevelt quote, but don't quote me on that.)   Also, not to brag or anything, but my biceps look amazing!  Cause, BONUS, carrying an extra 2.5 pounds with you really improves your fitness level.  A fantastic and unforeseen by product.

My last, and most important revelation about this book, is that Infinite Jest is best read when you have no other commitments in your life.  Which, I can only imagine is when you're in solitary confinement.  Which you're probably in as a result of some sort of an addiction to something.

And that's the infinite jest.


Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I don't suppose there are Cliff Notes. Wait, are those even a thing anymore?

Mackenzie Glanville said...

maybe I'll pick it up to improve my biceps

Salty Bug said...

Sounds like the type of books I have on my list, that just don't ever get picked up...Well done and seriously, that mother singing Disney songs needs to sort her shit. That is just not cool.

Marie Loerzel said...

@Nancy-They ARE still a thing! But now there's free synopsis on the internet!
@Sarah-I know, I was so pissed and surprised out of the 40 people in that room that no one said anything. Including me.


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