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Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One to Snack On

    Brief Interviews With Hideous Men is a set of vignettes told from the male viewpoint. Some are quite short, while others are much more lengthy. Not for the faint-hearted, there is lots of talk about sex and some raunchy language.

    My favorite tale was told by a man who picked up a woman for casual sex and ended up being moved by her life story. Hitchhiking, she was picked up by a serial sex offender/murderer, and managed to save her own life by talking the man out of his need to kill her by empathizing with him. The man starts out by regarding the woman lightly, just another plaything, but her story makes him realise that she has depth and is someone to be taken seriously.

    Another favorite is the retelling of that first time on the high diving board (not that many pools still have these due to insurance concerns). Wallace captures the moment completely, using every sense to vividly place the reader out there on the board as they smell, see, hear everything the diver does. No detail is too small for Wallace to remember and comment on.

    The writing is gorgeous even when the topics are disturbing. I can't think of an author who writes more concretely about the details of an event. This is definately not a book that feminists will applaud; the men here are brazen, outspoken and often churlish. But the reader will not soon forget these stories. This book is recommended for readers who like to dip into books and read one or two stories at a time.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    So meta

    Disclosure: I'm a fan of DFW, especially his essays and short stories so this might be biased.
    Brief Interviews is one of the the most oddly funny books I've read in a while. A few stories really stand out to me anyways (Octet, Death is Not the End) and of course the Brief Interviews. Wallace style gives detailed descriptions of things you would other wise not think about (smell of a pool, texture of sandles) and of course his ridiculous footnotes every where. If you looking for a different read or a change of pace, pick up Brief Interviews.

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    Posted February 27, 2013

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    Posted May 11, 2011

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    Posted July 26, 2009

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