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Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest

Staff Review

Staff Pick

Original
David
HPB Staff

Infinite Jest

by Wallace, David Foster
Emotional But Also Hilarious

In an alternate future where the president of North America is a Vegas crooner and time itself is sponsored, tennis prodigy Hal Incandenza is rejected from university when his attempts at honest human interaction are misinterpreted as a psychotic episode. How did he -- and this world -- get to this point? After this first scene, most of the novel takes place in flashbacks to November YDAU (Year of the Depends Adult Undergarment -- sponsored time, remember) in a sprawling and satiric plot that includes Alcoholics Anonymous, wheelchair-bound Quebecois separatists, and a video so entertaining that people die watching it on endless repeat. Throughout the novel, David Foster Wallace questions our ability to distract ourselves with entertainment by repeatedly daring the reader to laugh at the ridiculous details of horrifying events. (Only one of many examples: the president turns the border between Quebec and New England into a toxic waste dump where giant mutant hamsters roam wild.) At its heart, IJ's message is that all modern ills (drug abuse, family dysfunction, poor foreign relations) are borne from thoughtless self-indulgence, and it's amazing how many such ills DFW manages to connect. Laugh, cry, but most importantly, Engage and Think.

 
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Set in the near future in a addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, a moving novel explores a world of drug abuse, heartbreak, advertising, philosophy, math, humor, and drama as it addresses what happens to a nation of people whose main concern is pleasing themselves. Reprint.



  • Condition: Used - Good
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
    • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
    • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Paperback
  • Sold by: HPB Florence
  • Seller rating:
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co
  • ISBN-13: 9780316921176
  • ISBN: 0316921173
  • Publication Year: 1997
HPB pick - In stock


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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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