Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online
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This celebrated collection of essays from the author of Infinite Jest is "brilliantly entertaining...Consider the Lobster proves once more why Wallace should be regarded as this generation''s best comic writer" (Cleveland Plain Dealer). 

Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone? What is John Updike''s deal, anyway? And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person?

David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of John McCain''s 2000 presidential race, plunging into the wars between dictionary writers, or confronting the World''s Largest Lobster Cooker at the annual Maine Lobster Festival, Wallace projects a quality of thought that is uniquely his and a voice as powerful and distinct as any in American letters.

"Wallace can do sad, funny, silly, heartbreaking, and absurd with equal ease; he can even do them all at once." --Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

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.

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Alex
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating, but sometimes uneven, essays on American culture.
Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2018
If you''ve read anything by David Foster Wallace (henceforth DFW), you''ll know exactly what you''re getting with this collection of essays and whether or not you want to read more from him. Thus, I will assume that you have not read anything by him previously.... See more
If you''ve read anything by David Foster Wallace (henceforth DFW), you''ll know exactly what you''re getting with this collection of essays and whether or not you want to read more from him. Thus, I will assume that you have not read anything by him previously.

Consider the Lobster is a collection of ten essays, five of which I would call major essays (50+ pages), and the other five are significantly shorter.

When at his best, DFW is the best American writer of his generation. You have to go back to McCarthy and Pynchon to find someone who surpasses him. However, he does not always write at his best, and Consider the Lobster reflects that. To understand both my praise of some essays and my letdown with regard to others, you''ll need to understand what DFW is doing with these essays. DFW takes a seemingly uninspired banal topic and uses it as a launch point to discuss issues which would be very difficult to discuss directly or without a great deal of context. For example, in the essay How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart, DFW begins by reviewing the insipid sports autobiography of Tracy Austin. However, he uses that as a lunching platform to discuss the nature of sports genius- what separates a Tracy Austin or Tom Brady from every other athlete? Also, why are athletes so inarticulate about the nature of their ability?

My personal favorite, Up, Simba, details the 2000 John McCain Republican Nominee race against George W. Bush. The essay interlaces mundane detail of the day-to-day happenings of the campaign with astute observations about the nature of political advertising, whether or not its possible for a candidate to be genuine (in what may have been the single best insult I''ve read, DFW describes Al Gore as "surprisingly life-like"), and why young people seem so disengaged with politics. His writings and observations about marketing, political leadership, and the political ennui many young people feel are relevant considering how young people overwhelmingly supported Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders (ideologically polar opposites whose only connecting feature is an apparent genuineness.)

DFW has some ideas that are pervasive in this book and some of his other writings (such as his magnum opis, Infinite Jest). He is concerned with the interplay of marketing, entertainment, the insularity that this allows individuals and communities of people to exist in. These are all deeply important topics to modern (as in, right now) American culture and Western Culture in due time.

About seventy percent of the essays in this book are of elite quality. They are deep, refreshing, and I fell enriched for having read them. With such a high bar set, it''s not surprising if some essays fail to measure up. The opening major essay "Big, Red, Son" is a expose of the porn Adult Video Network award ceremony. I would have thought this topic would be a veritable gold mine in the hands of a writer and observer like DFW. He could have written about how porn has warped (mostly young mens'') aesthetic sensibilities of sex and women all the while not sounding preachy or condescending. Or perhaps he could have written about the escalatory nature of media and our viewing habits. Porn must become increasingly extreme, outlandish, etc. in order to keep male viewers, thus exacerbating those warped sexual sensibilities. With all this potential material, the essay defaults to "the people are crude and wholly without a sense of decency". The essay falls flat for the time it takes to read it.

Overall, this is a good book, and 70 percent of it is great.
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Goon Mandoo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Often hilarious, usually insightful, and always original
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2017
I''m sure that 99.999999% of people who asked DFW to review something knew what they were getting into -- ask him to review a lobster festival, get a miniature treatise on the ethical implications of causing pain to animals; ask him to review a grammar handbook, get a... See more
I''m sure that 99.999999% of people who asked DFW to review something knew what they were getting into -- ask him to review a lobster festival, get a miniature treatise on the ethical implications of causing pain to animals; ask him to review a grammar handbook, get a play-by-play of warring factions within the lexicographical community; ask him to review an adult-film trade show, get (in a footnote, no less) one of the most moving little soliloquies ever written about the connection between sex and truth -- but I wonder if anyone ever commissioned a piece without ever actually having read his stuff before (like, they just heard he was a really "in" writer) and then they get a draft of his article and they''re like "oh COME ON he didn''t even say if the lobster rolls were any good"
52 people found this helpful
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Colm Hall
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Consider The Reader; Your Long-Suffering Editors Too.
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2019
Before considering whether you will buy Consider the Lobster, I would like you to reflect on the old adage "Brevity is the soul of wit". If you tend to appreciate brevity and succintness in a humorous writer, then Consider The Lobster may not be for you. If, on the other... See more
Before considering whether you will buy Consider the Lobster, I would like you to reflect on the old adage "Brevity is the soul of wit". If you tend to appreciate brevity and succintness in a humorous writer, then Consider The Lobster may not be for you. If, on the other hand, your favourite sort of jokes are the ones that start out funny, then stop being funny, but go on so incedibly long, that eventually they become even funnier than they were at first, then this might be just the book for you. Part of the humour in this collection of writing is simply that David Foster Wallace includes so much irrelevance. Many of the tangents are indeed amusing or even insightful, but it''s not the content itself that is expected to astound us, it is Foster Wallace''s sheer audacity to include them at all.

All of which means that all of these pieces are long, or at least far longer than they need to be. And although Foster Wallace loves creating abbreviations – mostly abbreviations of things he himself has written – do not take this to mean that this will allow you to read these pieces any faster. Acronyms and abbreviations are supposed to make things easier and shorter for the reader to read, not shorter and easier for the writer to write. In the essays, articles, and reviews in CTL, DFW uses abbreviations in an irritatingly indulgent way. Was he assuming that the abbreviations would be obvious for his readers, or did he use them knowing full well that the readers would have to stop reading, go back through previous paragraphs, and figure out what the letters stand for? I suspect the latter was the case. For the Every-Single-Word-Foster-Wallace-Ever-Wrote-Is-Genius literary fanboys, I''m sure this is part of his appeal, and indeed hard proof that ESWFWEWIG. I am not such a fan. I do not feel that every thought that DFW ever had is worthy of putting on paper. I suppose there''s nothing wrong with putting them on paper, but subsequently deeming them all worthy of publication is another matter. Unfortunately though, one gets the impression that DFW himself does not share this opinion. It feels like even the onset of a thought, if it is one of his thoughts, is worthy of inclusion. He chooses to include his whole thought process.

So, if DFW wrote a sentence, and then immediately reconsidered its value or accuracy, instead of deleting that sentence, and replacing it with the thought he eventually reached, he prefers to include them all. So there are so many qualifications and asides and footnotes that even writing "It was a sunny day" will devolve into a description of our tendency to judge current weather only by comparing it to recent other weather, the etymology of the word ''day'', the chemical make-up of the sun, our unquestioned acceptance of the impersonal use of the pronoun ''it'', and more. And if you choose to delve into all this unnecssary detail about how sunny the day might be and why, how about adding some comments about the very fact that you are commenting on your initial comment? Sure, why not? I doubt any reader has ever considered any of these things before, but once brought to their attention will be fascinated. Do other people also have thoughts? I had assumed so. But DFW appears less convinced. DFW assumes that few people know what it is like to have an inquisitive mind, to have a brain that can observe stuff and wonder about it. Luckily for them, he does possess such a mind and he shares exactly what that''s like. In excrutiating detail.

I wish I had been commissioned to write a 3,000 word review of CTL just so I could turn in a 150,000 treatise on premonitions of social media vanity during the dawning years of the internet. My POSMVDTDYOTI would contain more words than the magazine that commissioned it, and even more than the very book it is reviewing. But as it would consist of things that I had thought or observed or experienced, nothing could be omitted. My POSMVDTDYOTI would not just be a review of a book that you had been considering reading. CTL will become the thing you read just so you can understand POSMVDTDYOTI better. Because no one really cares about CTL or DFW anymore, apart from the ESWFWEWIG fanboys of course. People will read my POSMVDTDYOTI review of CTL and stand, or sit, or lie, in awe of my literary brilliance until someone reads my 150,000-word review and tweets: "Not all your thoughts are worth sharing" and then #NAYTAWS will trend on Twitter for about 25 minutes, my brief literary career will end abruptly, as will Twitter itself, as well as all literature.
16 people found this helpful
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Markell Hardaway
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Prepare to focus
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2018
This book was recommended to me by a colleague and fan of Wallace. While I enjoyed some of the essays, I found that most of the essays were not the type of intellectual stimulation that peaks my interest. To be fair, Wallace is very thoughtful and lays out grand ideas on... See more
This book was recommended to me by a colleague and fan of Wallace. While I enjoyed some of the essays, I found that most of the essays were not the type of intellectual stimulation that peaks my interest. To be fair, Wallace is very thoughtful and lays out grand ideas on current and prior societies while also drawing inferences from subcultures of American life. He draws you into a world you have likely not thought about before and sometimes that is refreshing. However, I would not recommend the book because he didn’t really get me anywhere I wasn’t already or provide a perspective for me to include moving forward. It was intellectual verbosity for the sake of being so.
7 people found this helpful
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Jon Waters
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Even Large Underwater Insects Have Pain Neurons
Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2019
David Foster Wallace''s work always shows a multi-centered consciousness (see esp. his masterwork Infinite Jest), but isn''t he crossing a red line when he takes the point of view of the lowly lobster in his ''gonzo'' reporting at the 2003 Maine Lobster Festival that was first... See more
David Foster Wallace''s work always shows a multi-centered consciousness (see esp. his masterwork Infinite Jest), but isn''t he crossing a red line when he takes the point of view of the lowly lobster in his ''gonzo'' reporting at the 2003 Maine Lobster Festival that was first published in the August 2004 issue of Gourmet magazine? Yes, lobsters have pain neurons and they try to crawl out of the pot when placed live in boiling water (cf. Woody Allen''s bit with the live lobster in the film Annie Hall with Diane Keaton), unlike clams and mussels which also are also lowly but aren''t arthropods. We do the same to other sea creatures that are more intelligent, such as the octopus and cuttlefish. What is it particularly about the lobster that attracts DFW''s literary attention? Curiously, Colin Farrell''s character tells the interviewer in Yorgos Lanthimos'' dystopian epic The Lobster (2015) that if he fails to find a new mate within the required 45 days that he would like to be turned into a lobster, not a dog as most people choose, citing the lobster''s longevity and loyalty to its undersea mate. Perhaps it is just that the lobster is fascinating because it is so unobtrusive (just like the meek character David that the usually rubber-faced Farrell plays in The Lobster).

The essay "Up, Simba" chronicles John McCain''s ''Straight talk Express'' from the 2000 primary campaign. "Big Red Son" is gonzo reporting on the AVN awards (the ''Oscars of porn'') at Las Vegas in the late 1990''s. He reviews John Updike''s last book as an exemplar of the end of the GMN''s (Great Male Narcissists), who are a literary contrast to DFW''s multi-centered fiction writing. He reviews (and trashes) the trendy ghostwritten sports biography in "How Tracey Austin Broke My Heart." In "Host" DFW profiles a conservative radio talk show host''s manipulation of listeners'' emotions. DFW also celebrates the new translation of Kafka''s The Castle and the new biography of Dostoevsky - two of DFW''s favorite writers.

Check out these wide-ranging essays by a great American thinker. Also look into the essays in his earlier collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I''ll Never Do Again. Cheers!
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El Sooko
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s a marathon. You gotta want it.
Reviewed in the United States on September 10, 2018
The Amazing thing about this book is that its eponymous essay, "Consider the Lobster," was written by DFW at the behest of the organizers of a Lobster Festival in Main to hype its event, and and for whom DFW wrote a jeremiad against boiling live lobsters for mass... See more
The Amazing thing about this book is that its eponymous essay, "Consider the Lobster," was written by DFW at the behest of the organizers of a Lobster Festival in Main to hype its event, and and for whom DFW wrote a jeremiad against boiling live lobsters for mass consumption at an event ostensibly held to honor the lobster! It reminds me of how NYU must have felt after luring an esteemed professor from Princeton at exorbitant price only to have him publish Dr. Sokal''s satirical takedown of PoMo (critical theory) in a university backed journal created for its defense. Given DFW''s prolix style, I wonder if the festival committee members read the essay given its length, elaborate footnotes, and meandering style, which contributed to its length that would have justified publishing it as a separate volume that could rival a phone book in weight.
8 people found this helpful
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JustBill
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Unique Man With Too Much Depth
Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2019
This is a book that was written by the late David Foster Wallace. The title of the book snagged me, but this book is for you if your from the world of Acedemia, you know the folks that stay in that world for life, but cannot change a tire. I did not know of the late Mr... See more
This is a book that was written by the late David Foster Wallace. The title of the book snagged me, but this book is for you if your from the world of Acedemia, you know the folks that stay in that world for life, but cannot change a tire.
I did not know of the late Mr Wallace, and very sad he died young, and despite not liking the book, you cannot escape this pull he creates on you, as he was a lovely man, with a refined sense of humor.
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Roberta Zurbach
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Get out your unabridged dictionary
Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2013
The late Mr. Wallace has been reviewed by too many to mention. I''m just a person reading anything of his for the first time. My nephew is a huge fan and pointed me to his essays to start. The first essay in this collection had me laughing out loud from the first... See more
The late Mr. Wallace has been reviewed by too many to mention. I''m just a person reading anything of his for the first time. My nephew is a huge fan and pointed me to his essays to start. The first essay in this collection had me laughing out loud from the first paragraphs. Later ones have proven a little dry and deep for me. I am, for the most part, enjoying reading these reviews and essays and will explore further into his works. He uses some almighty big words (which in context you do understand) . Be prepared for many, many footnotes. I followed my usual practice on footnotes and ignored them. If you want to go deeper you can explore them later. That''s a personal quirk of mine. RZ
14 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Eilidh
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Genius
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2018
Ted Kluck is one of my favourite writers, and one of Ted Kluck''s favourite writers is David Foster Wallace. Thus it was that I picked up this collection of essays by the late Wallace, and I am so glad I did. "Consider the Lobster" is one of ten essays in this book, whose...See more
Ted Kluck is one of my favourite writers, and one of Ted Kluck''s favourite writers is David Foster Wallace. Thus it was that I picked up this collection of essays by the late Wallace, and I am so glad I did. "Consider the Lobster" is one of ten essays in this book, whose subjects range from the sublime (a thoughtful review of Professor Joseph Frank''s biographical works on Dostoevsky) to the faintly ridiculous (the titular essay referring to a lobster food festival). What I really love about every single one of these essays is that Wallace''s tone and voice is so clear in every one, even though the subjects and styles of essays are so different. While some of the subject matter is pretty risqué (the first essay is an account of a visit to a major porn industry convention), Wallace writes with such humanity and desire to see the heart behind what often seems heartless (another essay deals with politics, with Wallace joining the McCain2000 campaign for a week). Stylistically and artistically as well, these essays are a joy to read: "Authority and American Usage" is an essay reviewing Bryan A Garner''s ''A Dictionary of Modern American Usage'', and is hilarious in its intelligence and (not particularly) gentle mocking of the very concept of a book describing the American use of language. Not that he doesn''t see the need or interest in such a volume, but rather Wallace makes a point of using as much language as physically possible. Any good artist makes you want to be a better artist yourself, and this collection of writing both shows how writing can be great and entertaining no matter what the subject, and makes me want to be a much better writer and thinker. Wallace wrote thoughtfully and (I think) with fairness and clarity, and ten years after his tragic death, it''s a real shame that he is not here to try and dissect the world as it looks now. I enjoyed these essays very much and am looking forward to getting a hold of more of Wallace''s writing as soon as I can.
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I K CREASEY
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Drawbacks of the Kindle edition
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 31, 2014
If you are thinking of buying the Kindle edition there are two things you should know: 1) The essay "Host" is not included in electronic editions of the book, although it is included in physical editions. 2) David Foster Wallace''s style includes extensive use of...See more
If you are thinking of buying the Kindle edition there are two things you should know: 1) The essay "Host" is not included in electronic editions of the book, although it is included in physical editions. 2) David Foster Wallace''s style includes extensive use of footnotes, and on older Kindles it''s somewhat fiddly to navigate to footnotes and back. For these reasons, this particular book is probably best read in hard copy.
20 people found this helpful
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Smst1
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hard work at times - but worth it !
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2015
My introduction - bit late, but never mind - to DFW. This essay collection divides between reportage and what I can best call scholarly dissertation. The former''s simply brilliant. The best written and most entertaining examples of gonzo journalism I''ve read since Hunter...See more
My introduction - bit late, but never mind - to DFW. This essay collection divides between reportage and what I can best call scholarly dissertation. The former''s simply brilliant. The best written and most entertaining examples of gonzo journalism I''ve read since Hunter Thompson. The scholarly dissertations are desperately hard work. Maybe a bit of an exercise in intellect-flaunting. Making a point/reaching a conclusion - and then repeating the exercise from umpteen different angles. Again. And again. And again. Both styles require stickability from the reader, with endless footnotes, asides, and footnotes to footnotes. You get into the swing of things after a while, but physically - as well as mentally - it''s not an easy read. (But ultimately very rewarding). One thing that really *did* irritate me - and this has nothing to do with the author - but (and I''m guessing this was in a bid to keep body copy and notes within bounds) the publishers of the edition with the lobster on the cover printed the text in what I''d call a ''normal size'' type...but the footnotes are *miniscule*. A real effort to read. They finally got to grips with this with ''The Host'' - the last essay in this anthology - but why this type of layout wasn''t utilised for all the entries is baffling. Anyway, the good way outweighed the bad. I so enjoyed my DFW introduction and look forward to experiencing more. Recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Quality writing with footnotes...and more footnotes...and some more footnotes...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2015
Some very well written and revealing pieces in this diverse collection, though I think "Pulphead" is better, being a more cohesive and controlled example of the genre. He covers some really interesting topics here like following John McCain on the campaign trail and being a...See more
Some very well written and revealing pieces in this diverse collection, though I think "Pulphead" is better, being a more cohesive and controlled example of the genre. He covers some really interesting topics here like following John McCain on the campaign trail and being a part of the AVN (porn)awards and of course, Maine lobster. I thought the piece on the D-J John Ziegler was great. I understand it''s always horses for courses in tastes but I thought he took the whole quirky footnote gimmick and footnote upon footnote idea too far and it definitely got more than a little tired and old for me and by the end of the book I found it just got in the way of the main body of the work and as a result undermined the overall message and quality of his book. I''d probably give him another shot though.
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Doris H
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A genius but ....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 24, 2021
A rather exhausting read. Endlessly & distractingly larded with footnotes & the impressive analyses of his essays are diminished by his desire to beat you about the head with his intellect. You don''t have to like it all & I didn''t like most of it
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Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online

Consider the outlet sale Lobster and outlet sale Other Essays online