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5.0 von 5 Sternen Comparatively accessible, and highly rewarding
I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and reward of Infinite Jest (it took a couple of months to get through, and the next book I read took around 2 days) as well as The Girl With Curious Hair, but never got to grips with A Supposedly Fun Thing, so I was uncertain about how much I would enjoy these Brief Interviews. However, almost all of these stories (the exception being...
Veröffentlicht am 5. Juli 1999 von Andrew Mogendorff

versus
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2.0 von 5 Sternen yup, another unsatisfied fan
Yup, another unsatisfied fan. I feel the need to preface any statement about the new book with my take on his previous work. It seems standard enough at this point. I absolutely loved Girl With Curious Hair, a book whose inventiveness is to this day the freshest thing I've ever found in the 98-cent bargain bin. I really liked a lot of Infinite Jest and just about all...
Am 18. Juni 1999 veröffentlicht


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Comparatively accessible, and highly rewarding, 5. Juli 1999
Von 
Andrew Mogendorff (Minneapolis, MN United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and reward of Infinite Jest (it took a couple of months to get through, and the next book I read took around 2 days) as well as The Girl With Curious Hair, but never got to grips with A Supposedly Fun Thing, so I was uncertain about how much I would enjoy these Brief Interviews. However, almost all of these stories (the exception being Tri-Stan) had me rapt, they were so brilliant. True there is a lot of repetitiveness, only just on the right side of excessive, but in for instance The Depressed Person it served to heighten the endless reworking of the person's fears. Plus I knew this wasn't going to be an easy read, although I found it to be a breeze compared to Infinite Jest.
One thing I've noticed has been missing from the reviews of this has been Wallace's simply awesome use of words. I love the way the words in the story fit exactly as they should, not to say that there aren't surprises and loops where I couldn't help but laugh at the audacity. But in the interviews themselves it's so easy to imagine a real person speaking what's written, the way they're interrupted and interrupt themselves. What's also impressive in the interviews is the lack of words from the interviewer, which I found forced me to concentrate more on the book, and gave me the fun exercise of thinking of the questions; and that only in the last shocking interview do we get anything of the interviewer's persona. And I suppose even Tri-Stan's wordplay was entertaining, although for me it was too long and rambling; Wallace's stories generally work best for me when they're more condensed. This is one book I can't wait to re-read.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wallace Keeps Getting Better, 19. Mai 1999
While reading a recent review of DFW's latest collection of fiction, I was reminded of a song by Van Morrison, "Professional Jealousy," and the refrain: "Professional jealousy makes others crazy/ They think you've got something that they don't have/ What they don't understand is it's not that easy/ To cover the miles and be where you are." Wallace, like Van Morrison, has improved with age (and was brilliant to begin with), and "Brief Lives" demonstrates his multitudinous gifts better than any single book he's published to date. He rivals Dostoevsky when it comes to dramatic monologues. There isn't a funnier, or more poignant, father/son story than "On His Deathbed, Holding Your Hand, the Acclaimed New Young Off-Broadway Playwright's Father Begs a Boon" -- with the exception, perhaps, of Saul Bellow's "Sieze The Day." And no one satirizes better our toxic culture and obsession with mental health (see "The Depressed Person")-- with the exception perhaps of Don Delillo's "White Noise." Wallace writes circles around overhyped wordsmiths, like Pynchon and Tom Wolfe. And he does justice to his teachers by outshining Barth, et al., in his postmodern pieces. There's not a bummer in the collection, regardless of what the critics say. Kudos, Mr. Wallace! Like Van Morrison, you're building a consistently beautiful body of work. What's next?
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Pre-publication news from wallace-l (ignore the stars), 5. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
A member to the online Wallace discussion list posted the following:
"I managed to get my hands on a copy of the uncorrected advance proofs for Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
"According to the promo material, release date is May 28 and the book will cost $24. The author will tour New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco.
"Many of the stories have already appeared in Harper's, Esquire, Paris Review, etc., and are only one or two pages long. For those interested, here's a list of all the titles:
A Radically Condensed History of Postindustrial Life
Death Is Not the End
Forever Overheard
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
Yet Another Example of the Porousness of Certain Borders (XI)
The Depressed Person
The Devil Is a Busy Man
Think
Signifying Nothing
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
Datum Centurio
Octet
Adult World (I)
Adult World (II)
The Devil Is a Busy Man
Church Not Made with Hands
Yet Another Example of the Porousness of Certain Borders (VI)
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko
On His Deathbed, Holding Your Hand, the Acclaimed New Young Off-Broadway Playwright's Father Begs a Boon
Suicide as a Sort of Present
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
Yet Another Example of the Porousness of Certain Borders (XXIV)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Here is something you will never read, 14. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
D.F. Wallace's work, "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men", is as ever sound and full, pulsing through with the usual challenge of anything worthwhile. We talk of ourselves, hold D.F. Wallace's words, hard. Look, David puts out a book, and we get a voice because we took the time/spent $, to read it. We all get to self-absorb on screen (and that is the closest thing to being famous most of us will have), in true masturbatory style what we like/dislike about him/his work, in these reviews. He stopped reading us long ago. But we get to interact! We go on about IT, about LENGTH, PACE, HUMOR, whatever. What has Davids' work done for ME? How has Davids' book made MY Life better/worse? Where damnit, has David FAILED me? Where can i REJOICE? I'M disappointed in you DAVID, I LOVE you David, I ACCEPT you David. Therefore we accept ourselves, and he accepts us we think, so then we feel. We COMMUNICATE emotionally with him. We have INPUT! We exist in his life and in his work! But David please, a little more to the left, not that far, yes! slower, harder, that's more like it! The fact is by the time his book is in print and in our filthy hooks, David is gone gone gone. So we talk on and hear little. But it's all there in the text anyway. Read it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen All the things we are, 30. Mai 2000
Last summer, while researching a lecture on male sexuality andmonster movies, (rent "An American Werewolf in London,"okay?) I was delighted by Wallace's title. It took a year to get around to reading the book, but it would have made agreat addition to the lecture. Everything you've imagined about men and how they think is seen through the alternately funny and terrifying fun-house mirror of Wallace's prose. The "brief interviews" that run throughout the book reveal men as manipulative, unaware, and incredibly vulnerable, and as such are poignantly real . . . Even "The Depressed Person," which seems to be most reviewers least favorite selection, had me rolling on the floor, but then, I share office space with a therapist, so all the talk about "Inner-Child Focused Therapeutic Retreat Weekends" seemed awfully close to home. Admittedly, f-ing brilliant is a difficult level to sustain for a whole book, and Wallace, like any guy, can't always keep it up. But when he does, stand back! This needs to be required reading for college classes on gender, or for anyone who wants to know if guys really do think like that. (Yes, Virginia....)
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4.0 von 5 Sternen This guy rocks, 16. Februar 2000
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David E. Hoover (Washington< DC) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
I (finally) finished reading "Infinite Jest," and immediately had to pick this one up.
The book is full of random stories, some good, some not so good. One of the best is the story relating a young boy's fear of jumping off the high dive. Vintage DFW here with the description of the scene and his thoughts - it really puts you in the situation. Anyone who is a fan of DFW can relate.
The stories that are the "interviews" are some of the best. One of the things I enjoyed about Infinite Jest was these types of sections where a character is answering questions of an anonymous interviewer - it's fascinating to try to guess exactly what the question is. (If you haven't seen it before, all that denotes a question is a "Q.")
I recommend this book to any DFW fan. Maybe not for starters. Great book overall, although I'm going to have to go get a book of plain, simple narrative to take a break from this weighty reading!
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Well, I don't know..., 21. Januar 2000
Sometimes DFW seems scared of being honest, like he's trapped in the postmodern "we all know what we're doing here" cliches he seems alternately scared of and disdainful of. He hides behind the footnotes and the overeducated dialect. I still can't tell if there's a point to "Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko" or "Church Not Made of Hands" (or whatever non sequitur it was called). But he's honest when he doesn't think too much about it, he's smart, all the "Brief Interviews" are amazing, he has a command of tone he sometimes lacked in "Infinite Jest," and when he is on (and he is on a lot of the time here) he is positively magnetic. It's been a while to wait for him to put it together, and maybe he never will throw down the crutches of unconscious Lernerisms. But if he keeps feeding us stuff like this, I'll occasionally blanch, but I'll down most of it gladly.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Writing for readers., 25. Juni 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Hypermedia outlets have recently taken "classic" television shows and produced them into movies, falsely believeing that anything good in small bites is ever better in a glut. Breif Interviews With Hideous Men proves that the things that make Wallace's style great in epic portions (Infinite Jest, Broom of the System) are just as savory in short story form. Once again, David Foster Wallace holds up a mirror to society, and it is not surprising that some people dislike the reflection they see when they look into the book. Say what you will about Wallace being the next stuffy, incomprehensible, more-literate-than-thou writer of birdcage liner the world over; it's authors like him, Joyce, and Barthelme that remind us that the differences between fiction and literature are the same as the differences between simple diversion and real art.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Best-pressed book., 8. Dezember 1999
This is my most-lent book.
Nigh-schitzophrenic writing is generously tempered with a gourmet vocabulary, making the deep, jerky ride of his stories extremely readable. DFW presents the writing process as a very deconstructuralized thing with very experimental formats, providing a wholly multifaceted experience.
Perhaps some of the criticisms he's received (An English prof I once knew said, 'He's just a blip on the timeline of literature: a passing phase..') gave rise to the themes of acknowledged pretentiousness in many of the stories.
Hipsters and those fascinated by Americana culture alike will truly enjoy this, if only for the provocative nature of the writing styles, the stories in and of themselves, and themes.
DO read this book. I can't stress it enough.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Thank you Mr. Wallace!!, 19. Juli 1999
I don't generally read fiction. I prefer biographies, autobiographies, and occasionally I'll wade into philosophies...but I discovered Mr. Wallace when he wrote an hilarious article about the Illinois State Fair in Harper's Magazine..several years ago... This writer simply put is a genius...a modern day Marcel Proust...do not expect to travel traditional avenues while reading his work..but certainly be ready to question basic precepts that may be holding you up. Hideous is another great work..the nine words after the third date is my favorite..simply because I enjoy laughter..but the entire book is excellent...wish I would have had him when I went to Illinois State U. 30 years ago..instead of becoming a school teacher I may have become a carney.
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