Past Meetup

Infinite Jest - 3/4 Done hike

This Meetup is past

6 people went

Malibu Creek State Park

27000 Mulholland Highway · Calabasas, CA

How to find us

Near the start of the Grasslands Trail

Location image of event venue


This is a literary hike for the novel "Infinite Jest".

WARNING:This book is NOT an easy read. We've already had a few folks who had never given up up on reading a book until they encountered this one. A books on tape version probably won't work. And the first 170 pages is kind of slow. But, if you persist, you may find it to be one of the best books you've ever read.

Based on feedback from the last hike, this hike will correspond to 75% of the book. So read to page 723.

According to Wikipedia:

Infinite Jest is a 1996 novel by David Foster Wallace ( The lengthy and complex work takes place in a North American dystopia (, centering on a junior tennis academy and a nearby substance-abuse recovery center. The novel touches on many topics, including addiction ( and recovery (, suicide (, family relationships (, entertainment ( and advertising (, film theory (, United States-Canada relations ( (as well as Quebec separatism (, and tennis ( The novel includes 388 endnotes ( that cap almost a thousand pages of prose, which, together with its detailed fictional world, have led to its categorization as an encyclopedic novel (

In 2005 it was included by Time ( magazine in its list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.

Here is what we do:

1. READ the book. Actually just read 3/4 of the book - up to page 723 - you'll learn what a fnord is and can then participate in the discussions about this book. After this hike, we'll have a final hike in 2016 to finish the book.

2. Be ready to HIKE (with hiking boots, legs, sweat) to a beautiful spot at around sunset. Be able to keep up with the group and get out before it gets darker than music of evil. Bring a headlamp or flashlight, water, appropriate footwear and clothing. You must be responsible for being fit enough to hike and getting yourself to the destination and back.

3. Bring amazing snacks to share. Your host generally focuses on wine and cheese, but the other two food groups, sugar and salt, are also popular.

The hike: about 4 miles round trip to Century Lake. We'll have our discussions and potluck at the picnic table near the lake.

Rain, fire, revolution will result in rescheduling of this event.

PREPAREDNESS: Bring 1-2 liters/quarts of water (or other suitable liquid) and snacks to share with your fellow hikers. Please wear appropriate footwear (preferably hiking boots) and be prepared with extra clothing, sunglasses and a headlamp for our return hike. Hiking pole(s) and a camera might come in handy.

Distance: 4 miles
Elevation Gain: 600'
Difficulty: strong beginner
Dogs: It's State land, so dogs are prohibited on the trails
Restrooms: no
Water Fountain: no
Parking: Free on Mulholland - make sure you are OFF of the pavement
Trail: Mostly single-track, some fire road
Sunset: 7:43 pm


The organizer(s) or leader(s) take no responsibility and will not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur during any reading experience or any hike/outing. These events can be inherently dangerous and accidents will happen.

By participating voluntarily you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being and acknowledge, appreciate, and in consideration for being allowed to participate in any way you further agree:

1. The risk of injury, education or creative stimulation from the many of the activities is significant, including the potential for addiction to literature, permanent paralysis and death, and while particular skills, rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; and

2. TO KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS, both known and unknown, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES or others and assume full responsibility for your participation; and

3. To willingly agree to comply with the stated and customary terms and conditions for participation. If, however, you observe any unusual significant hazard during your presence or participation, you will remove yourself from participation and bring such to the attention of the nearest official immediately; and

4. You, for yourself and on behalf of your heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS PM Hikers, its organizers, officers, officials, agents, other participants, great writers, sponsoring agencies, RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Activity participant agrees that this release will apply to all known and unknown as well as unanticipated claims, injures and damages resulting from group activities, as well as those now disclosed and all rights under section 1542 of the Civil Code of California and hereby are expressly waived. Section 1542 of the Civil Code of California reads as follows:

“A general release does not extend to claims which the (participant) does not know or suspect to exist in his (or her) favor, at the time of execution of the release, which if known by him (or her) must have materially affected his (or her) (participation and agreeing to) the release.”

By participating in any group event or activity, you hereby, for yourself, your heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, your executors and administrators, waive any and all rights and claims for damages you may have against any and all entities and individuals associated with the group, their representatives, successors and assigns and will hold them harmless and free of all liability or claim of negligence related to any and all injuries, disability, illness, death, loss or damage to person or property, suffered in connection with any and all activities organized by the group.