A visionary, a craftsman, a comedian ... He can do anything with a piece of prose, and it is a humbling experience to see him go to work on what has passed up till now as 'modern fiction'. He's so modern he's in a different time-space continuum from the rest of us. Goddamn him' ZADIE SMITHA recognised master of form and a brilliant recorder of human behaviour, David Foster Wallace has been hailed as 'the most significant writer of his generation' (TLS). Each new book confirms and extends his genius, and this new short story collection is no exception. In the stories that make up OBLIVION, David Foster Wallace conjoins the rawest, most naked humanity with the infinite convolutions of self-consciousness - a combination that is dazzlingly, uniquely his.'Wallace's talent is such that you can't help wondering: how good can he get?' TIME OUT
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David Foster Wallace was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Lannan Award for Fiction, the Paris Review's Aga Kahn Prize and John Train Prize for Humour, and the O. Henry Award. He died in September 2008.From Publishers Weekly:
In his best work, Infinite Jest, Wallace leavened his smartest-boy-in-class style, perfected in his essays and short stories, with a stereoscopic reproduction of other voices. Wallace's trademark, however, is an officious specificity, typical of the Grade A student overreaching: shifting levels of microscopic detail and self-reflection. This collection of eight stories highlights both the power and the weakness of these idiosyncrasies. The best story in the book, "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature," assembles a typical Wallaceian absurdity: a paroled, autodidactic arachnophile accompanies his mother, the victim of plastic surgery malpractice ("the cosmetic surgeon botched it and did something to the musculature of her face which caused her to look insanely frightened at all times"), on a bus ride to a lawyer's office. "The Suffering Channel" moves from the grotesque to the gross-out, as a journalist for Style (a celebrity magazine) pursues a story about a man whose excrement comes out as sculpture. The title story, about a man and wife driven to visit a sleep clinic, is narrated by the husband, who soon reveals himself to be the tedious idiot his father-in-law takes him for. While this collection may please Wallace's most rabid fans, others will be disappointed that a writer of so much talent seems content, this time around, to retreat into a set of his most overused stylistic quirks.
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