Begin: Page 795 (“The most distant and obscure Tuesday P.M. Meeting listed in the little white Metro-Boston Recovery Options booklet…”)
End: Page 845 (“It’s like a big wooden spoon keeps pushing pushing him just under the surface of sleep and then spooning him up for something huge to taste him, again and again.”)
Start Date: 2/5/11
Finish Date: 2/11/11
Note Profile: 11 short notes (333–343), most of them about pharmaceuticals
And here we go – only three weeks left after this one, major revelations coming left and right, the writing moving along at a hallucinatory gallop. If you’ve been lagging behind, now is the time to rally the forces and mount a charge.
I found myself appreciating Hal and Gately’s respective journeys in this section. Projectile weeping and recollection of a challenging past. Looking forward to more unveiling . . .
Getting in touch with the inner infant and Gately’s wraith….almost to the finale.
so far has it been worth it? i dropped out after that sweet run to 220… crazy that i can remember the exact page i stopped. that says something.
Other Dan – it has been worth it. The story has gotten more engaging as the pages go on. Or maybe I’m repressing some literary trauma that, years from now, I’ll get in touch with while clutching a teddy bear in a windowless room full of middle aged men wearing sweaters.
I would say this book has been a unique experience. A lot of interesting ideas and some wild and/or funny stories. I am finding it easier to keep up as we near the end. I found Hal’s experience at the NA to be a little bit of a shift from the descriptions of the AA meetings, which I thought were portrayed in a pretty positive light overall. The NA meeting Hal went to appeared counter productive. The other scene that sticks with me is the description of Gately witnessing MP beating his Mom, and Gately just ignored it. I guess you would have to keep out of the way, if you were a defenseless kid, but still it seems surprising in view of how the grown up Gately behaves.
I’ve heard there are connections between Infinite Jest and Hamlet but for most of the book they haven’t seen obvious to me. This is the first section where they became overt, specifically the part where Gately is interfacing with the wraith of J.O. Incandenza.
I’m to the point now, since we’re so close to the end, where my usual end-of-long-book dread sets in. We’ve invested a lot of time and effort reading a book of this magnitude and it has been rewarding based on the brilliance of the writing alone but I’d love it if DFW finished with a bang. I can’t stand it when a long book doesn’t end well so that’s where the dread comes from. The plot has come a long way in the last 150 pages or so and I have high hopes that it continues to unfold in an entertaining (ha!) fashion as we wind down.
@bobdee: Methinks the “NA” meeting that Hal ended up at was not actually an NA meeting which is why it may have seemed counter productive to you. Hal realizes that the book Johnette gave him was two years old and likely outdated which is how he ended up at a “Man’s Issues” meeting.
Still behind (had some pinkeye and couldn’t read very well), but have been finding the character development to certainly be more, well, developed. I found the scene between Avril and Mario in her office pretty touching, and am starting to feel some dread for the characters and whatever is going to happen.
By the way, I saw in some recent magazine (Time?) Stephen King was listing his top ten favorite reads of 2010. Infinite Jest was on his list. Perhaps that’s not a surprise.