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Publisher's Summary

Where do you begin with a writer as original and brilliant as David Foster Wallace? Here - with a carefully considered selection of his extraordinary body of work, chosen by a range of great writers, critics, and those who worked with him most closely. This volume presents his most dazzling, funniest, and most heartbreaking work - essays like his famous cruise-ship piece, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," excerpts from his novels The Broom of the System, Infinite Jest, and The Pale King, and legendary stories like "The Depressed Person".
Wallace's explorations of morality, self-consciousness, addiction, sports, love, and the many other subjects that occupied him are represented here in both fiction and nonfiction. Collected for the first time are Wallace's first published story, "The View from Planet Trillaphon as Seen In Relation to the Bad Thing" and a selection of his work as a writing instructor, including reading lists, grammar guides, and general guidelines for his students.
A dozen writers and critics, including Hari Kunzru, Anne Fadiman, and Nam Le, add afterwords to favorite pieces, expanding our appreciation of the unique pleasures of Wallace's writing. The result is an astonishing volume that shows the breadth and range of "one of America's most daring and talented writers" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) whose work was full of humor, insight, and beauty.
©2014 David Foster Wallace (P)2014 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Wallace is an astonishing storyteller whose fiction reminds us why we learned how to read in the first place." (Andrew Ervin, San Francisco Chronicle)
"One of the most influential writers of his generation." (Timothy Williams, The New York Times)
"A prose magician, Mr. Wallace was capable of writing... about subjects from tennis to politics to lobsters, from the horrors of drug withdrawal to the small terrors of life aboard a luxury cruise ship, with humor and fervor and verve." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By sharky on 10-07-15

Great for teachers!

What a treasure! I teach David Foster Wallace's nonfiction to my international baccalaureate classes. Students read the essays one by one and then we discuss them in Socratic circles or as a whole group. However, I realized that my students could easily make an audible account and use their "freebie" to purchase this book. Even my most reluctant readers, the ones I thought weren't really interested in Wallace, have been turned on to his wit, his humor, his irony, and--most of all--his brilliant structural acumen. Thank you, DFW, for helping to inspire my young writers.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Todd on 08-24-15

Giant book full of great DFW things.

What did you love best about The David Foster Wallace Reader?

It's nearly a compendium on DFW. Many things I read, I was otherwise unaware of.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved some of the stories I'd never read from books I don't have. Loved revisiting some great scenes from Infinite Jest, and hearing favorite old essays and new.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. This book is so big, that I actually needed the help of the physical book as well, to finish up.

Any additional comments?

The loving and exhaustive manner employed by the editor, his staff, family, and everyone involved in this huge project lends an additional layer of love to some of the works included in this great collection. In some cases, the editors notes say more about David than the pieces themselves, which naturally stand on their own. This is a work of love and care, as well as a great (and vast) pasture for anyone inclined to browse in the writings of David Foster Wallace.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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