In his lifetime he was lauded and bombarded by critics and obsessed and fawned over by readers; upon his tragic death in 2008 he was proclaimed a genius by nearly everyone. David Foster Wallace was and remains a large-looming figure American literature. Because of his notoriety, this posthumously published novel--which was left incomplete, fragmented, and disarrayed by the author and then painstakingly and thoughtfully assembled by Wallace's editor Michael Pietsche--will no doubt repel some readers as strongly as it will enthrall others. It is not a neat, orderly book. But it's not likely that Wallace intended to write such a book anyway. The plot, which is set in 1985 and centers around some IRS newbies (including one named David Foster Wallace) at the Peoria, Illinois, REC (Regional Examination Center), is clearly not the author's central focus. With his unique gift for molding language, Wallace, however, richly explores broader philosophical affronts on contemporary life: ennui, bureaucracy, boredom, isolation, lassitude, finding meaning in life and work, tedium, and the foundations of basic human dignity. A truly remarkable assemblage, THE PALE KING will be certain to generate much though and self-reflection from its readers.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Literary, Human Qualities + Behavior, Work + the Workplace
- Little, Brown & Co
- March 31, 2011
- April 15, 2011
- David Foster Wallace