Though obviously not the exciting essay collections of Consider the Lobster
, or A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again
, this collection suffices to satisfy my jones for more David Foster Wallace and relaxes my need for any more based on these basic retreads of pieces obviously not up to making the grade in his previous works. The two sport pieces, one on Federer and one about the U.S. Open, were both engaging to their core whether you happen to like tennis or not. What I liked most about Wallace was his ability to make almost anything he wrote interesting and worth reading. No matter what his subject, with the exception of math and poetry, I found his writing captivating and full of his own personality, which is something I am enthralled with in no little measure.
I am not as enamored with David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress
as Wallace and others seem to regale it, but his essay proved to be one many people read and agree with. When Wallace deconstructs poetry and fiction I also rarely agree with him and find his thinking off base, but still, he always makes his words so much fun to read. And speaking of fun he even wrote an essay that included Don DeLillo and the fun of writing in it, which is an enormous stretch too as DeLillo, for me, is rarely fun and so intense I generally need to mist to cool off my brain from thinking. But his essay on Terminator 2 was so good it made me watch Terminator 1 for the very first time. This essay alone made the book definitely worth the purchase price. Deciderization 2007
and Just Asking
were both very good essays that shed more light on our "best of" series as well as if some things are actually worth dying for. I finished the book as if riding my bicycle with my back to a strong wind. It was easy and sad and filling, and I think I am done reading anymore "new" essay collections or novels of David Foster Wallace just because I don't think he wanted anymore published, even this one.