22 June 2010

Infinite Jest

I'm reading this book at the moment called Infinite Jest. It's amazing. Not amazing because it's good, although it supposedly is, but amazing because it's the only book ever that has managed to beat me. For serious. I started on this behemoth in 2008.

It's not because it's one thousand and seventy-nine pages long. I can handle that. It's not even written in another language (though it might as well be). It's just that David Foster Wallace swallowed a dictionary - possibly multiple dictionaries - some of them Martian - and spewed it back up again, and labelled the resulting mess Infinite Jest.

Everyone knows that I have a fairly formidable vocabulary. But find me one person who knows what both the words 'anaplastic' and 'candidiatic' mean without looking them up. Go on, I dare you. If you can find such a person, I'd sure like to shake their hand. And then I'll ask them what 'arachnodactylic' means.

In recognition of the fact that I'll probably never wade through it, I've come up with some alternative uses for Infinite Jest.

Murder Weapon

It's huge, it's heavy, it won't leave visible marks. Perfect, really. If someone from work turns up dead tomorrow and I've hitched a ride on a plane to Aruba, you'll know why.

Attacking Crocodile Jaw-Jamming Mechanism

That sucker will be chomping away forever. By the time he gnaws through you'll not only have run away, you'll have died of old age.

Laptop-Elevating Computer Cooling System

That's actually what I'm using it for right now.

Advanced Spider Execution Device

Even white-tails are no match for Infinite Jest. Trust me. It's tried and true.

Child Restraint

Just watch little Junior try to escape from under this. Far more secure than a crib and a baby harness that are both inside Rimutaka, guarded by rabid dogs and surrounded by a moat filled with sharks with laser eyes.

Alien Stupefecation Tool

They'll be so engrossed in trying to figure it out, you'll have plenty of time to blow up their spaceship, round up their soldiers and adapt their technology for the purposes of destroying the ozone layer even faster. Unless they're Martians. Then they'd probably get it.

Give it a read. I'll buy a drink for the first person to prove they've made it all the way through.


  1. It sounds like the only way to prove that you've read it is to be found dead on your couch with your thumb carefully marking the very last page. Maybe you could scribble "Oh God, why did he..." with your last remaining strength. But then a drink would be absolutely no use whatsoever.

  2. I'd drink it for that worthy person at their wake.

  3. I have a way to prove the person read it all. Ask them on what page does the author decide 278 different characters is enough and cease to add more.