Published when Wallace was just twenty-four years old, The Broom of the System stunned critics and marked the emergence of an extraordinary new talent. At the center of this outlandishly funny, fiercely intelligent novel is the bewitching heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman. The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio. Lenore’s great-grandmother has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her beau, and boss, Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous, and her cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started spouting a mixture of psycho-babble, Auden, and the King James Bible. Ingenious and entertaining, this debut from one of the most innovative writers of his generation brilliantly explores the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.
In this intriguing, readable business novel, which illustrates state-of-the-art economic theory, Alex Rogo is a UniCo plant manager whose factory and marriage are failing. To revitalize the plant, he follows piecemeal advice from an elusive former college professor who teaches, for example, that reduction in the efficiency of some plant operations may make the entire operation more productive. Alex's attempts to find the path to profitability and to engage his employees in the struggle involve the reader; and thankfully the authors' economic models, including a game with match sticks and bowls, are easy to understand. Although some characters are as anonymous as the goods manufactured in the factory, others ring true. In addition, the tender story of Alex and his wife's separation and reconciliation makes a touching contrast to the rest of the book. Recommended for anyone with an interest in the state of the American economy.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Hilarious, inventive, actually laugh-out-loud.
This is one of the most clever books I’ve read in years. To my knowledge, I’ve read everything DFW ever published, and this remains my favorite. The characters are verbose, indirect, and hilarious. There’s no doubt that I’ll be reading this book every few years for the rest of my life.
A good gateway to a great author
Everyone should have at least one David Foster Wallace book in their repertoire and this, his first piece of fiction, is a great place to start. It may remind you of Confederacy of Dunces....
It's sooo bad...