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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: Weaving a World for Readers (191 comments)

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  •  I agree (5+ / 0-)

    I know it's all subjective, but I'll never understand the appeal of mapquest type descriptions. (I think Robert B. Parker was very prone to do that. Which is great for readers who know Boston well but I always wanted some quick impressionistic description so I'd remember what kind of street X or Y was.)

    Speaking of David Foster Wallace, I'm very sorry to say that several hours into Infinite Jest (audio), I got so impatient with all the detail that I stopped. I felt as if I'd learned a million tiny things about each character without ever being guided toward liking any of them. But I'd just finished The Orphan Master's Son, with it's gripping recreation of N. Korea, and I think maybe any book I tried to read then would have suffered by comparison because I loved Orphan Master's Son so much.

    "I am sure of very little, and I shouldn't be surprised if those things were wrong." Clarence Darrow

    by scilicet on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 09:20:33 PM PDT

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    •  Actually, I had a similar Infinite Jest experience (5+ / 0-)

      and ran aground after about 50 pages. Though the videotape was intriguing me. So now you know I'll use a book as an example, although I haven't read it - furthermore, that I'm shameless enough to admit this, instead of discreetly saying nothing. It is a bit embarrassing, but I find it far more amusing.

      I've read some shorter pieces by DFW, which sucked me right in. He certainly has the skills to back up showing-off. Infinite Jest sits on my shelf. One day, in an ambitious and whimsical mood, I'll open it again.

      Another way of seeing these authors who thunder like Wagner (inventor of the original wall of sound) is, they get so busy with their own voice, that reading is no longer a collaboration. There's no room to pour yourself into the book. Which the greatest books, that speak to our depths, all give us. So we read them again every five or ten years, and they stay familiar, yet change with us.

      A few R&BLers have been praising The Orphan Master's Son.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:00:13 PM PDT

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