The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home News by Category Infinite Jest Slate Audio Book Club Podcast

Slate Audio Book Club Podcast

UPDATE - Link fixed (thanks to jmcginniss for pointing out the break): The Slate Audio Book Club Podcast about Infinite Jest is finally available. The full page does not appear to be up yet (as far as I can find), but the mp3 audio can be downloaded here (right-click or click-hold and save as .mp3).
SPOILER WARNING: If you have not read Infinite Jest there are spoilers galore, do not listen, just grab a copy of the book and start reading... There are many reasons presented in the first 15 minutes that I think not only spoil, but misrepresent the novel as a whole.
I have only listened to half, so I will reserve full judgement until the end, but I'm finding it terribly frustrating so far. I know myself, and many of you out there, have read IJ over and over since its release. Each time I read it I find it more engaging, more fulfilling, more powerful. It is unfair of me to expect the same level of depth from the Book Club crew, but it's not too hard to find reviews, summaries, and discussions out there (some linked to on this site) that clearly refute, with evidence, some of their assertions. IJ is NOT a big mess... but then maybe it took me two full reads to begin to realise that...
On a positive note, they all appear to love DFW's non-fiction, and his skills in general, which makes it even more frustrating to listen to.

They have a hard job to begin with. I am just not satisfied so far.
More when I am done listening to it.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2009 11:46  


#1 jmcginniss 2009-03-19 03:31
Thanks for posting this but would you mind checking the link to the podcast? The page/link is claiming not to exist.
The podcast is available via iTunes by subscribing to the Slate Audio Podcast.
Quote | Report to administrator
#2 pdiddy 2009-03-23 21:08
I am a little more than halfway through my first reading of IJ and just listened to the podcast. I was not too disappointed by the "spoilers" (probably because some of them had already been revealed in the recent New Yorker article), but is it even possible for IJ to have spoilers?

But I agree that this discussion, as with other Slate podcasts, is some lightweight middle-brow bullshit. In general, they struggle with criticizing the book as a conceptual work of art. One of the critics suggests that it's disappointing that some of the narrative lines go unresolved. It's hard for me to fathom how a serious reader could take the time and effort to read IJ and then turn around and make that of all criticisms. The book enjoins you and forces you to think critically on a meta-level and then presents some of the pleasures of doing so. All you get in this podcast is a couple of critics complaining that the book should be "easier," and then a half-hearted defense for the book.

The Bookworm interview with DFW is a much better audio resource.
Quote | Report to administrator

The Howling Fantods