Selected essays from Consider the lobster and other essays

by David Foster Wallace

CD audiobook, 2005






New York : Time Warner Audiobooks, 2005. 3 cds


Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone? What is John Updike's deal, anyway? And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person? David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of John McCain's 2000 presidential race, plunging into the wars between dictionary writers, or confronting the World's Largest Lobster Cooker at the annual Maine Lobster Festival, Wallace projects a quality of thought that is uniquely his and a voice as powerful and distinct as any in American letters.

User reviews

LibraryThing member indygo88
I almost don't want to admit this, but David Foster Wallace was a virtual unknown to me prior to just recently, at which point I believe I must've read a review or an article or something which prompted me to add some of his works to my wishlist. "Consider the Lobster" was the first I could get my
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hands on, so thus, it's my first DFW read. I read the abridged audio, which includes only four selected essays from the original work, and honestly, I wish I could've had a larger sampling to give a more well-rounded review. The four essays included in the abridged audio include: Consider the Lobster (an exploration of the lobster, centering around the annual Lobster festival held in Maine & then further exploring whether or not the lobster feels pain with its death); The View from Mrs. Thompson's (a short essay on the subtle effects of the people in small-town Illinois following September 11th); Big Red Son (a very LONG essay on the adult video industry, primarily centering on the annual awards ceremony for such); and How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart (centering on DFW's disappointment in her written memoir).

My personal thoughts were thus: I really liked The View from Mrs. Thompson's and wish it had been longer. Big Red Son totally revolted me and if I'd had any tiny bit of respect for those in the adult video industry to begin with (which I didn't), it would've been cleanly wiped away after reading this particular essay. It was the longest essay of the four and while written fairly well, the subject matter just turned me off, making me wish it were shorter. Consider the Lobster was fairly enjoyable, but How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart didn't particularly hold my interest.

I liked DFW's writing. I feel as though he would've been a great person to get to know personally. (Tragically, that will never happen.) As with most short story and essay writers, they tend to write pieces that either appeal to you or don't. I didn't feel like this audio gave me enough of DFW to really be able to decide my true feelings of his work, so I'll have to keep pursuing some of his others.
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