The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Abstract Modem - First thoughts on the Pale King

Agri Ismail over at Abstract Modem is running with First thoughts on the Pale King, without having read a single word yet:
I can't help but feel like Hachette botched something with the release of the Pale King. And not because they screwed over independent bookstores for the almighty Amazon or because all the launch parties are now significantly less exciting, but rather because the publication of this book is an event (for a very particular niche, mind you, but an event nonetheless: see articles in Time, GQ and Esquire as proof that this is something worthy of mainstream discussion and coverage) and there is a particular communal bliss in getting hold of something at the same time as many, many other people (see Harry Potter launch events like the photo above or, at a smaller but still significant scale, the way Radiohead can get thousands of people simultaneously downloading their music) that has now been somewhat ruined by the scrambling of people like myself who drop everything when a tweet by @mattbucher makes their day and informs them that Amazon has started to ship the book, push aside relatives and loved ones, stepping on the cat, ruining someone's game of Bejeweled for access to the computer for the fastest click on a  button since those weeks spent on the Impossible Quiz in 2008. This behaviour says something about our society, I'm sure, I just don't know what.