Infinite Summer – Week 1

**I’ll be posting regularly every Sunday night, sticking to the scheduled spoiler lines.  So if you haven’t hit the Week 1 mark yet and don’t want to see any spoilers, don’t read.**

When I first announced I was gonna do Infinite Summer, I mentioned something about how I’m a pretty fast reader who could finish about 75 pages an hour in optimal conditions.  I also mentioned the rest of my summer reading list (in my defense, Anna Karenina really is one of those books that just flows easily for me; I wasn’t just talking out of my ass on that one).

Anyway.

Haaaaaaaa! David Foster Wallace was probably snorting at me from his grave.

Okay, so I was a silly rabbit for thinking I could read this at the same speed I blew through Bright Shiny Morning (yeah, I read it; don’t judge me).  Because let’s face it: sometimes, reading this book is a total fucking bitch.  Sometimes I hit a wall and stare blankly at the pages.  Sometimes I look at my toddler nephew’s stack of children’s books and try to wrangle him down so I have an excuse to read those instead.  Sometimes I damn well just fall asleep (usually when I attempt to start reading at midnight…bad idea).

But it’s getting easier.  Whereas it would occasionally take me an hour just to get through a tiny handful of pages, I now find it easier to get sucked into the different narratives and read at a more natural pace.  I’m keeping up with the schedule, even though I was reading at a snail’s pace for the first few days, which leads me to believe I will be able to finish this sucker ahead of time.  And skimming the weekly summary posted on the IS website, I know I’m actually retaining shit.

The good:

  • Outsized feral infants. Awesome.
  • What is on that entertainment cartridge??!
  • All these terms for weed I never knew existed.
  • Imagining exactly what the admissions staff was witnessing to claim that Hal’s noises were not human.
  • Dude suffocated on his own mucous.  That’s cold.
  • I’m actually using my noggin on a regular basis now.
  • “These worst mornings with cold floors and hot windows and merciless light—the soul’s certainty that the day will have to be not traversed but sort of climbed, vertically, and then that going to sleep again at the end of it will be like falling, again, off something tall and sheer.” (46)
  • “There are the sad tiny distant-champagne-cork sounds of scores of balls being hit down at the East Courts.” (61)

The bad:

  • I’m not a detail-oriented person.  While I thought Endnote 24 kicked ass (outsized feral infants? awesome), I can do without endless descriptions of the Pump Room and the mathematics of tennis.
  • It’s a toss-up between the Wardine section and the Schtitt section.  I don’t totally hate them, but I don’t totally like them, either.
  • The footnotes within endnotes.
  • The medical terminology overload (and the requisite flip-to-endnotes that comes with it).
  • I keep getting the distinct, uneasy feeling that Infinite Summer will end up on Stuff White People Like.  Being a Texican, you can see how this would pose a– ehh, who am I kidding?  This wouldn’t be the first time my Mexican card got revoked.
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About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
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