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Girl With Curious Hair Paperback – 6 Nov 1997
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This collection of ten tales provides ample proof of his virtuosity for the uninitiated... This is not a writer for the squeamish... but his satirical mastery of speech patterns and his eye for the grotesque can astonish. (DAILY TELEGRAPH)
Puncturing the veneer of power lies at the crux of this collection, and attention to detail illuminates the banal. Wallace's control of different voices is superb, given the individual style of each tale. (THE TIMES)
It is his prose that really sets him apart; sometimes eerily banal, at others so densely observed you're scared to blink, and making ordinary situations seem strangely disconnnected from reality. Cleverness and verbosity are additional key ingredients, and the effect is often brilliant. (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)
A collection of stories as varied in length and theme as they are imaginative, and as downright bizarre as any collection by one author has a right to be. Truly funny surreal humour. (San Francisco Chronicle)
About the Author
David Foster Wallace is one of the most prodigiously talented young writers in America today and has received numerous awards for his work. He lives in downstate Illinois.
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Top customer reviews
DFW is sometimes very hard work and even more difficult when the stories, as here, are hardwired into American culture. One, My Appearance, is all about a middling-famous actor going on a David Letterman show. Not having ever seen a Letterman show, I am only vaguely aware that the actor, having an ear-piece inserted in her ear so that her husband and his friend can help her make a good impression on the audience, is funny. Nevertheless, it seemed to me the lamest exercise in flabby satire. Sorry, but there is an enormous ocean between the BBC and American TV.
Another offering, Here and There, was a dialogue between a man and his girlfriend in which the man got to explain his ennui and nihilism and the girl got to talk about make-up and love. Though my heart wasn't in it, I found it restlessly, urgently, readable. The rest of the collection was equally patchy but did include a superb sub-Faulknerian pastiche and the marvellous Lyndon, about Lyndon B Johnson, Lady Bird and love. This hits all the right buttons and is surprisingly sympathetic.
Readers have to work hard with DFW, and the pay-off is sometimes bafflement, but often the shattering genius of the man gets through - and even in the least loveable of offerings, the light shines down on us heedless, struggling mortals.