Infinite Summer – Week 5

Okay, it’s official: I’m exactly one full week behind in the readings.  You know why?  Because I could. not. read. that long chapter about tennis matches and Ennet House.  It was excruciating.  Excruciating.  To the point where I just considered skipping the entire chapter altogether, somthing I would never otherwise do.

I ended up sticking with it, but now I’m just annoyed and don’t want to read anymore.  Most of the problem, I think, is that I just struggled with a big ass wall and have no desire to risk struggling with another one.  Another problem is that I wanted to read other books this summer, and I don’t see that happening.  I’m not one to juggle multiple books at once because I like to concentrate on the subject at hand.  But 4 months of concentration?  It’s starting to bum me out, especially since I usually zoom through books at a pretty decent speed.  Sigh.

That being said–and I realize this is soooo 150 pages ago for those of you still on track–the part where Hal’s telling Orin about finding Himself splattered in the kitchen was one of my favorite parts of the book so far.  I burst out laughing when he screamed that he was hungry and thought something in the kitchen smelled good.  (I have macabre sensibilities, okay?)

And that’s why I keep reading instead of throwing in the towel.  Do I think parts of the book are long-winded, self-serving, and completely unnecessary?  Absolutely.  But when DFW delivers, he delivers.  It’s those moments of solid gold that keep me coming back, even after wrestling with 20 pages that took me almost a week to work up the desire to trudge through.

My goal for the coming week: get back on track.  I’ll be damned if everyone hits the 50% landmark without me!


About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
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2 Responses to Infinite Summer – Week 5

  1. Pingback: Infinite Summer » Blog Archive » Roundup

  2. Miker says:

    I apologize for not being able to give a reference to where I got this impression, but in at least one DFW interview I’ve read he talks about how hard he worked to make the novel entertaining. He knew how much he was asking of his readers, and tried to sugar coat the “spinach”. I also found the “sure smells good” line to be hilarious, possibly the funniest line in the whole book.

    As far as your comment about it being “long-winded, self-serving and completely unnecessary”… I think a lot of what seems pointless actually does serve a purpose, it’s just hard to see on the first pass. It all ties together, though that doesn’t necessarily mean all your questions will be answered. Personally, I like his writing style, so the fact that the book lacks concision is not a problem for me. If you can enjoy the prose and the little set-pieces and not worry about getting the whole picture, I think it’s easier. It also helps to treat it like a detective novel, to look for the answers for all the nagging questions: what happened to Hal? why does Joelle wear a veil? what makes IJ (the film) so entertaining? where is it? and of course the big question– what is the point of this 1000 page tome? There are clues everywhere, but it’s very hard to nail down.

    Anyway, the writing and the humor got me through it the first time; on later readings you realize the depth… My $0.02.

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