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Life of a Literary Supernova,
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This review is from: Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace (Hardcover)
For me, David Foster Wallace was the real-life version of the character in Douglas Adams's Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy who, sitting in a café, suddenly comes up with the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. She is killed (along with the rest of Earth's inhabitants) before she can tell anyone, thanks to a reptilian race of intergalactic highway builders led by a fanatical poet-come-jobsworth, who demolish the planet to make way for a hyperspace bypass.
Reading Wallace's fiction (Infinite Jest) and non-fiction (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again) is like watching someone writing their way towards the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. Tragically, Wallace died in 2008, aged 46, halfway through writing The Pale King, the follow up to his masterwork Infinite Jest.
This well-written, neatly constructed biography, which covers, amongst much else, affairs, addictions, teaching, tennis and tobacco, by lively New Yorker writer DT Max, captures like a roach under a glass (a reference for Wallace fans) the too-brief life of this literary supernova.