View Full Version : Infinite Jest

07-08-2008, 08:43 PM
Anyone read this book? I finished it the other week and I'd love to discuss it with anyone's who's read it.

07-08-2008, 08:45 PM
I bought it forever ago and keep putting off starting it because it's so intimidating. I've got a couple other books I'm going to clean up first then I might give it a go.
I think Endy said he's read it.

07-09-2008, 01:37 AM
unfortunately i've only read the first hundred pages or so. for some reason i had to put it aside and haven't picked it up again. (ps: now i'm reading blood meridian, and it's really good!)

07-09-2008, 03:27 AM
It's my bf's favourite book, Infinite Jest is.

07-09-2008, 07:05 AM
It took me about a year to read it; I started last summer and then when school started I barely had time to read recreationally. It was a really fantastic read but at the end nothing is really answered which was kind of a let down for me. I'd like to read it again because I think I'd get a lot more out of it the second time around, but I'm not jumping right back into it yet.

Also, I highly recommend reading all the end notes, because some of them are very important to the plot.

Rag Doll
07-09-2008, 12:17 PM
i bought it today out of curiosity (the reviews seemed interesting). plus, it was only $10! that's less than a penny a page!

i'll let you know what i think of it sometime next year.

07-09-2008, 12:32 PM
Whats the book about?

07-09-2008, 03:06 PM
Oh jeez... What's it about? Almost impossible to explain coherently. It also takes about half the book to get an idea of what the plot is.

It's in the near distant future, where the US, Canada, and Mexico have combined into an organization called ONAN, Organization of North American Nations. There's some sort of agreement between the US and Canada that allows the US to literally export waste and pollution into areas of Canada, making certain areas completely inhabitable and causing certain northern states to be reconfigured (NNY is New New York, etc). This made Quebec separatists really pissed and certain extremist factions formed that set out to cripple the US and ONAN in various ways. One specifically is a group of Quebecois in wheelchairs that are somehow extremely talented special ops operatives despite their lack of legs. They found a movie called Infinite Jest that is so addictive to watch that when you begin to watch it you never want to stop and watch it over and over until you die of starvation or other causes. They want to find the master copy which you can create copies of and infiltrate US homes with it to cause serious problems in the States. They feel that US citizens have a disposition to irresponsible consumption of entertainment and so it would be an appropriate means to their end.
MEANWHILE there is a tennis academy in Boston with a bunch of kids learning to play tennis. One of them is Hal, whose late father Jim created the movie Infinite Jest with no intention of it having the effects it apparently does. There's an entire story about Hal too.
MEANWHILE there's a halfway house at the bottom of the hill where the academy is full of former addicts of various things. Whole story about them too.
There's also some other side characters and settings.

Somehow, all of these stories become related in some ways, some more than others. Basically you're just put in the world of the book and it's very difficult to explain a lot of aspects of the book to someone who hasn't read it.

What's interesting is that the entire book, 900+ pages with over 100 pages of end notes takes place mostly over the course of a few days (many chapters are dated).

One can also appreciate that many aspects, such as the existence of ONAN, are not main plot elements, but rather, you are introduced to the world in which Infinite Jest is written and become familiar with its various idiosyncrasies that give a context for the plot.

07-10-2008, 11:09 AM
That sounds like an interesting, if not complex read. I'll look around some local book stores for it. If not the internet is my friend.

07-10-2008, 03:38 PM
I decided to get the book after stumbling into it while wikipedia surfing. I was reading the entry on fatal hilarity which linked to Infinite Jest at one point.

Rag Doll
09-14-2008, 12:01 AM

....another death.

09-14-2008, 09:06 AM
My friend called me last night to give me the news... I really didn't see that coming. I guess you can't expect to know anything about an author just for reading a book and a few interviews.