I am a DF Wallace-alholic, so any book that promulgates David's wisdom is, to me, a must-read. This is a must-read.
Setting that aside, though, I would also consider this a must-read for anyone who wants to be an impactful writer. Dave's insights on what makes for effective writing are based on many years of his writing novels and nonfiction pieces that opened our minds in new ways, made us laugh, made is think, and sometimes scared us stiff. His key insight is one you have probably heard from him before: write for the reader and respect who you are writing for. Even though I had heard these chunks of wisdom from him before, it is still worth the price of the book to have them packed into the transcript of an interview in which the interviewer is none other than Bryan Garner. Bryan asked Great questions. David provided Superb answers.
This is a quick read, so quick that you could, as I did, initially conclude that this has the highest cost per word of any book you've ever purchased. The type is fairly big (not uncomfortably so) and the transcript format is such that the text on a typical page takes up not much more than half the page. When I first thought about this, I thought, Well, Garner *is* a lawyer, after all. But then I decided who cares? I got everything out of the book I could hope for AND Garner is giving all the proceeds from the book to The Harry Ranson Center, which houses the DFW library. So now, after thinking it through, my purchase was an investment, not a cost. (Also, Garner is very big on selecting a typography that is reader-friendly, and it turns out that a relatively large text with relatively narrow content field is the best typography.)
Great book. Many thanks to Bryan Garner for putting it together.