David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1999)
I loved Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men or at least the first five minutes of the many times I picked his book up again, in a renewed attempt to finish it. Eventually, I yielded to my disinterest in the stories, and let my dithyrambic enthusiasm dissolve in the rambling mist of words that spit at the reader’s eyes. So, I might not share the shallow taste for fast food, the quick satisfaction of mental onanism in Wallace’s writing. If anything is beyond discussion, it is Wallace’s talent for writing, he has a magic pen for words, but like so many talents, they come with deficiences, and Wallace’s is that he has trouble developing interesting characters and plot in his Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, which is in all honestly a collection of short stories. But despite that fact I am still undecided if I should risk picking up his 1000 pages long novel, feel the same excitement in the first 50 pages, before the fire dies out, and leaving me struggling through the remaining 950. But maybe, just maybe, his rambling thoughts were overthought well and he might have succeeded to create layer upon layer of meaning, instead of chaining words together like a soap-opera of observations of our time, to dig en develop into a character’s subtle humanities versus its obvious vulgarities, and to come up with a complex structure and plot versus the straightforward, downward run down the hill.