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.