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Inventory: The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace

March 17, 2012

The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace
Wallace without  the humility or the humanity.
Status: Just say the word.

AS COLLEGE FICTION WRITING GOES, this novel — which began as one of David Foster Wallace’s undergraduate theses — is some of the best you’ll find. But if you know anything about college fiction (and I include graduate workshops in this category as well), you know that’s not exactly praise. Wallace is too enchanted with his own intellect and subversiveness to really tell a good story here, and it all ends up just feeling like unhappiness. Not even sadness. Just unhappiness.

There are some good parts, and at times I found myself thinking, “Wow! That was written by an undergraduate?” But for the most part my reaction was, “Yep. That was written by an undergraduate.”

Do you want to trade paperbacks?

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