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How to read David Foster Wallace

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If you've long been resolving to read David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest," but somehow have never gotten around to hoisting the 1,104-page behemoth, now may be your chance to do so. A group called Infinite Summer is proposing that an online community tackle the novel together this summer.

"Read 'Infinite Jest' over the summer of 2009, June 21st to September 22nd," they propose. "A thousand pages1 ÷ 92 days = 75 pages a week. No sweat."

The complex, lengthy novel is considered a masterpiece by many of its readers.  (Although there are also quite a few who confess to never having finished it.) Time magazine included the 1996 book in its list of All-Time 100 Greatest Novels from 1923-2006.

The novel's sprawling plot is difficult to encapsulate but Salon once described it as the juxtaposition of "life in an elite tennis academy with the struggles of the residents of a nearby halfway house, all against a near-future background in which the U.S., Canada and Mexico have merged, Northern New England has become a vast toxic waste dump and everything from private automobiles to the very years themselves are  sponsored by corporate advertisers."


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