Customer Reviews for

Oblivion: Stories

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2004

    An Acquired Taste

    David Foster Wallace is a unique writer and has developed a following who seem enchanted with the emperor's new clothes. That is in no way a put-down: there are many writers who have a style of writing that appeals to certain readers and not others, and that does not discount those writers' gifts. For example, there are many readers who have yet to wade through all the volumes of Marcel Proust's 'A la Recherché du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time),' or have struggled through James Joyce's 'Ulysses' or 'Finnegan's Wake¿, or have been frustrated with TS Eliot's phrasing, Virginia Wolff's and Gertrude Stein's styles, etc. My frustration with reading David Foster Wallace in general, and OBLIVION in particular, is that it all seems so self indulgent. Yes, we all love to be challenged into following thought lines that meander for pages, sometimes as a single sentence, if the thought pursued is additive. Wallace is obviously bright and is most assuredly clever and can write hilarious insights into the foibles of living in 2004. Some of these stories are uncommonly terse and complete: 'Incarnations of Burned Children' is a masterpiece of short story development in a matter of a few dense pages. But for the most part, for this reader, Wallace puts us on a roller coaster ride that feels more like an intellectual sideshow gag than one concerned with a story. 'Mister Squishy' is more a novella that just doesn't seem to know how to get where it wants to go. Yes, a healthy dollop of patience and indulgence and extended periods of time will uncover some excellent wordsmithing, but Wallace is an acquired taste. I just haven't acquired it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

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