New: Book Report: A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again

In this collection of essays by David Foster Wallace, I was glad to read the title essay. It's about his experiences on a cruise ship. I've always wondered if I would like being on a cruise ship, and now I know the answer: nope. It was better to learn this by reading of Wallace's suffering than by suffering myself. Strangely, I didn't like his essay about a state fair, perhaps because I figured that if I wanted to know what a state fair was like, and it turned out I didn't like it, then I could just leave. I probably couldn't just leave a cruise ship, unless I wanted to live the rest of my life in the Bahamas. So there wasn't so much urgency in reading about the state fair. Not that "urgency" is the word I'm looking for here. No-one is pressing me to take a cruise any time soon. There was also an essay in here which might have been full of insights about David Lynch, but I couldn't bring myself to read past the first few paragraphs. There were early stories about being a tennis prodigy, in which you can see what Wallace was like before he learned to write well. I wish I'd skipped them.

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Posted 2005-07-15