This celebrated collection of essays from the author of Infinite Jest is "brilliantly entertaining...Consider the Lobster proves once more why Wallace should be regarded as this generation's best comic writer" (Cleveland Plain Dealer).
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?
David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of John McCain's 2000 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.
"Wallace can do sad, funny, silly, heartbreaking, and absurd with equal ease; he can even do them all at once." --Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
Novelist Wallace (Infinite Jest) might just be the smartest essayist writing today. His topics are various this new collection treats porn, sports autobiographies and the vagaries of English usage, among others his perspective always slightly askew and his observations on point. Wallace is also frustrating to read. This arises from a few habits that have elevated him to the level of both cause c l bre and enfant terrible in the world of letters. For one thing, he uses abbrs. w/r/t just about everything without warning or, most of the time, context. For another, he inserts long footnotes and parenthetical asides that by all rights should be part of the main texts (N.B.: These usually occur in the middle of phrases, so that the reader cannot recall the context by the time the parentheses are wrapped up) but never are. These tricks are adequately postmodern (a term Wallace is intelligent enough to question) to prove his cleverness. But a writer this gifted doesn't need such cleverness. Wallace's words and ideas, as well as a wonderful sense of observation that makes even the most shopworn themes seem fresh, should suffice.
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Consider the Lobster
Perhaps there's a a better collection of short stories that's ever been written. But I seriously doubt it.
Potential readers should be warned that the first story contains pretty explicit language. It’s not a story about sex, it’s a story about a reporter covering the sex industry. Unfortunately it’s hard to quote people from the sex industry without including a lot of not family or work safe dialog. This story is _WAY_ more graphic than other books tagged as explicit in the iBooks Store.