I'll admit that Infinite Jest never won any awards, but Time Magazine lists it as one of the top 100 English Language novels and David Foster Wallace received a MacArthur Fellowship Fellowship (a.ka. the "Genius Grant"). This book has been on my to-read list for some time (Ben, my partner, has already read it three times), and I think this is the summer to tackle it. It is, however, 981 pages long, so I'm going to divide it into two parts. This first part covers pages 3 to 491, up to the chapter titled "WINTER, B.S. 1963, SEPULVEDA CA".
David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, professor of English at Illinois State University, and professor of creative writing at Pomona College. Wallace is widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which was cited as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005 by Time magazine. Los Angeles Times book editor David Ulin called Wallace "one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years". Wallace's last, unfinished novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011 and a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He has also received an O. Henry Award and the Whiting Writers' Award.
Infinite Jest was published in 1996. The complex work takes place in a semi-satiric future version of North America, and touches on substance addiction recovery programs, depression, child abuse, family relationships, advertising, popular entertainment, film theory, Quebec separatism and tennis, among other topics. It has been revealed that the characters are largely autobiographical.
In the novel's future world, the United States, Canada, and Mexico together compose a unified North American Superstate known as the Organization of North American Nations. The plot partially revolves around the missing master copy of a film cartridge, titled Infinite Jest, which is so entertaining to its viewers that they lose all interest in anything other than viewing it and thus eventually die.