"Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" by David Foster Wallace

My first book by Wallace.  (About 8 years ago I tried reading Infinite Jest and could only get through the first 100 pages, with great difficulty.  I vow that one day I will read it in its entirety along with Moby Dick and Gulliver’s Travels. Really.) I see why he garnered so much fuss.  This book is a collection of short narratives, in the form of a one-sided interview, with a variety of horrible, loathsome men who have a major fear of women.   The portrayals of some of these men are scarily realistic, and the writing is completely mind-blowing and captivating. Not every story works, though, but when he’s on, he’s untouchable.  Clearly he was a brilliant guy.  In some instances, though, it feels like the topics of some of the stories are deliberately, self-consciously outrageous, and his use of some literary tricks that challenge the notion of typical narration feel a little too self-aware.  Regardless, many of these short stories are incredible. 

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