Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

by David Foster Wallace
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Overview

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace

"David Foster Wallace has made an art of taking readers into places no other writer even gets near. In the pages of his novels Infinite Jest and The Broom of the System and the collections Girl with Curious Hair and A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, he has created as unique a voice and view as any writer at work today, rendering a dazzling array of interior states with delicious insight and humor. In this new collection, the author extends his range and craft in twenty-two stories that intertwine hilarity with an escalating disquiet to create almost unbearable tensions. These stories venture inside minds and landscapes that are at once recognizable and utterly strange: a boy paralyzed by fear atop a high diving board ("Forever Overhead"), a poet lounging contented beside his pool ("Death Is Not the End"), a young couple experiencing sexual uncertainties ("Adult World"), a depressed woman soliciting comfort from her threadbare support network ("The Depressed
Person," chosen for the 1999 Henry Award Stories). The series of stories from which the book takes its title is a tour de force sequence of imagined interviews with men on the subject of their relations with women. These portraits of men at their most self-justifying, loquacious, and benighted explore poignantly and hilariously the agonies of sexual connection. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men gives us men and women, celebrity and bitter loneliness, sexual posturing and naked honesty, erudition and apeman babble-abn world whose emotional complexity and outright comedy closely resemble our own. In these remarkable stories, David Foster Wallace reaffirms his reputation as a "passionate and deeply serious writer" (San Francisco Chronicle) who again expands our ideas of the pleasures fiction can afford."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780349111889
Publisher: Gardners Books
Publication date: 01/18/2001

About the Author

David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011.

Date of Birth:

February 21, 1962

Date of Death:

September 12, 2008

Place of Birth:

Ithaca, NY

Place of Death:

Claremont, CA

Education:

B.A. in English & Philosophy, Amherst College, 1985;MFA, University of Arizona, 1987

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Brief Interviews with Hideous Men 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book chamged how i looked at life and at the world.
SGUT-KIN More than 1 year ago
I have had a fascination with David Foster Wallace ever since i first heard of him. He is fascinating. He is a man that was perceived as a genius and hated it. He just wanted to be a normal man. This anger at the way society looked at him was the reason for his depression. Back to the book he wrote. This book is like nothing i have ever read before. Its full of ridiculous stories and situations that make you laugh and think. I wondered how he thought of most of these stories. For those readers that are unfamiliar with Wallace, he writes with footnotes. These footnotes are long, insightful, and hilarious. The footnotes are essential to the stories. I myself am in a relationship and can relate to some of the ridiculous thoughts demonstrated in the book. Thats not to say that i relate to all of them, most of the stories are incredibly weird and its just relieving to think about not having these issues in my relationship. In this book, Wallace uses very great language and detail to describe situations, much like his review of Roger Federer. So, the bottom line is that Wallace is a fantastic writer whose writing is very enjoyable to read. This book is a very funny book that makes you think and i happened to enjoy it very much. Some stories are a bit boring but the majority are excellent page turners that surely make up for the unique boring/depressing story. Thinking back at those types of stories, they could be rather enjoyable and funny if you look at them as mockery of the common depressing situation and how people react to them. Well, thats my spiel to get people to go out and quench their intellectual thirst by reading books by the master of literary craft David Foster Wallace. I apologize for not capitalizing my 'i's.
LegalBeagle More than 1 year ago
David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men is a compilation of vignettes/interviews told entirely from the male point of view. And yes, these men are truly hideous! The cast of male narrators range from the garden variety exploitative womanizer/woman-hater, to the seriously deranged, to the truly frightening! Each story/interview is compelling in the same way that rubberneckers are drawn to vehicular accidents: shock and horror are mixed with fascination. Women readers in particular will appreciate Wallace's laser penetration into the dark recesses of men's souls. One interviewee calls his deformed arm "the asset" because he uses it to manipulative women into sleeping with him. Another male narrator brags about sexually exploiting a hysterical jilted woman. Several stories are detailed rants from men who hate women. While the interviewees/narrators are various degrees of repugnant the stories themselves, however, are exquisitely crafted with layers upon layers of details. For example, one story is a lengthy exposition on diving that is also about suicide. Wallace's craftsmanship is truly impressive! Brief Interviews with Hideous Men is a fascinating, albeit disturbing, examination of the dark side of the male psyche. Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (September 8, 2009) Advance Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Definitely not what I thought it would be but satisfying none the less. Some of the stories spark anger because of the appropriate title 'hideous men' but the way David Foster Wallace articulates human thought process through these many characters is great. The things that we think but are never ever shared and at times not even recognized by ourselves, until now.
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AustinDGreat More than 1 year ago
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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