.My favorite book! Infinite Jest is perhaps the most informative piece of commentary on the contemporary state of America. The narrative primarily takes places and shifts between a presitigious tennis academy (Enfield Tennis Academy) and the Ennet Halfway House. Infinite Jest is full of charm and wit, difficult societal analyses and internal existential ruminations, and Wallace posseses a special ability to bring out what many of us think but are unable to put into words. This book changed my life. I read it every year. Yes, it's long. Yes, it's heavy (in every sense of the word). Yes, it demands a lot from the reader. But the payoff is one of a reckoning and understanding of the validity of your own thoughts. Infinite Jest is the epitome of that special communication with which art has monopolized. This is what a novel is supposed to be!
Part autobiographical, part fiction - Dave Eggers tells the tale of his personal journey - one of heartache and staggeringly steep challenges - first with the loss of both his parents within the same three-month period. By default, Dave is forced to care for his seven year-old brother, Toph, at the mild age of twenty-one - all the while attempting to cultivate a career in high-art with the advent of a literary magazine entitled Might Magazine. A Pulitzer Prize Finalist and a leading voice in postmodern literature, Eggers attempts to communicate to us the paradoxical essence of what it is to feel alone in a world where we are surrounded by human interaction, relationships and affection.
.A beautiful book! A woman in her early twenties, Lenore Beadsman, has just been informed that her grandmother, Lenore Beadsman, has went missing from her nursing home. A personal investigation of the granddaughter ensues. This book focuses heavily on the use of language, and the flaws of language as a means to understand and comprehend objective truths (DFW said himself that this book is essentially a dialogue between Ludwig Wittgenstein and Jacques Derrida). Hugely funny and filled with clever scenes and dialogue, this is a hallmark of surrealist literature of the last 50 years. This is the sort of world I'd like to live in!
Considered one of the greatest pieces of postmodern literature, The Crying is about an investigation that the protagonist, Oedipa Maas, has found herself in the midst of. She begins to question what is real and what is false. With strange characters and stunning imagery, Pynchon established an ideology that'd consumed many of the people in America post WWII. The world is a different place now and the theory of objective meaning in the world, literature, and art has dissipated. Pynchon carries this to its logical end in this very short but timeless piece of commenatry on America. Filled with idioms, imagery, cynicism, narcissism, and fatalism, this is a must-read for serious readers of serious fiction!
Pastoralia is George Saunders's second full-length short story collection that is outrageously funny and clever. Pastoralia is the telling of contemporary America and its staunch capitalistic ideology that leaves much of the country marginalized. America isn't structured to comfort all its citizens. Saunders touches on this - and how we not only have the government (or corporations) to blame, but we have ourselves as well - in not taking care of each other. Saunders is arguably considered the greatest satirist still writing in America. Step away from the television and please read this book!