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

I finished A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments by David Foster Wallace which is a collection of writings from “one of his generation’s pre-eminent talents.” That Wallace is brilliant has never been a question; he received a MacArthur Fellowship which is basically $500k paid out over 5 years with no strings attached, no reporting requirements, etc. to people who are contributing to society.

The book is a collection of seven pieces ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner. Each piece is lively, well written, and often contains some deeper meaning that can be lost amidst Wallace’s jest. He can take what would otherwise be a few page overview of a tennis tournament, and turn it into a 25 page romp that begs the question, “Would have ever been able to grasp that much detail?” Since reading the essays I’ve noticed myself observing tiny Wallace-esque details at, say, the coffee shop. If you like hilarious nonfiction essays that turn the seemingly trivial into the fascinating, read this book.

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