Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (1996)  Too much is made of how long and difficult this book is; there are longer novels out there, and much more difficult ones. But for a legitimately slow and unfocused reader like myself, it was a challenge to get through, and I won't even admit, here, how many years it took me. But I've finished it, and I feel the journey was worthwhile. There are points where you want to risk hurting your back and throw the book across the room, say, “Enough already with the tennis,” etc., but overall it's an immensely entertaining, sometimes shocking, and intensely sad story. Part of the pure joy of this book is being fully immersed in DFW-land, which is, I guess—like certain cuisines and lifestyle choices—either you have a taste for it or you don't. It is, of course, a much different book going into it knowing that David Foster Wallace committed suicide, as much of it deals with depression, addiction, and suicide. As for it being set in the very near future, now is a fascinating time to read it, being that we are essentially living in the time he predicted, in the novel. In essence, he gets a lot very, very right, spookily so, but if he was here with us now I'd imagine he'd admit that even his most bizarre and disturbing imaginative predictions don't exceed the world we are presently living in.