Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, David Foster Wallace, 1999

This was a difficult book to read and an even more difficult book to review.  Wallace, one of my heroes and a tragic suicide some years ago, writes strangely but movingly about men who suffer from significant emotional and mental illness, likely channeling his own demons which led to his suicide.  Depression, psychosis, sadism, narcissism, and a whole catalogue from the DSM are illustrated and investigated through these short (or not so short) stories in which characters go on and on and on demonstrating in words or describing actions that highlight their dysfunction.  Wallace is the master of writing the pages-length paragraph, the endless page-after-page footnote, and the unnecessary parentheses (usually describing the self-evident subject of a pronoun).  Hard to recommend this book which I read because James Wood is lecturing on it in her English course this semester.  We’ll see how he does with it.