Here’s my summary of Day 1!
– I am on page 8. So far I do not care about any of these people. They, the room described, and the language used is musty and dusty. If I was an editor I’d put a red pen through about 50% of this, and that’s being generous. DFW had a good vocabulary but absolutely no restraint. He also seems overly keen on precise descriptors, looking at small details whilst not giving a full impression of the situation. The sentences are kind of mangled; contorted; using an odd mixture of punctuation – I’m sure all grammatically correct- but yet, fatally, kill the flow of the narrative. (deliberate example). Ok so we have a tennis player kid whose uncle is trying to get him into a prestigious school but his grades aren’t up to snuff. Everyone so far is a stuffy bore and I hate them.
– Page 11. Dear God. Or should I say “Sweet Mother of Christ”. Gag. Such pretentious twaddle.
– Page 14. “The integrity of my sleep has been forever compromised, sir.” Lol. What is even going on in this bit? Over-reaction much? Did the kid have a seizure?
– Page 19. OK this section seems to be written in a very different style and is a lot easier to read. Perhaps the previous chapter’s style was deliberate? I wish this was broken up a little though, it’s kind of information overload for a couple of pages, almost stream of consciousness. Perhaps this is deliberate also, as the guy is anxious and jonesing for weed?
– Page 25. This dude is the WORST. Dependent on women, yet casually contemptuous of them. Tosses them aside as soon as he’s got what he wants (weed) and seems slightly disgusted by sex.
– Page 27. Nobody has conversations like this. The speech is so contrived.
– Page 28. Holy crap, I’d beat him up too. I want to beat him up now.
– Page 31. What the shit is going on? His Dad is wearing a disguise to involve him in a really weird accusatory argument about… Himself? And he seems to think that Hal can’t talk. The drinking descriptions are ANNOYING BTW.
– Page 35. If overly-long and convoluted sentences could kill….
– Page 39. No idea what this weird little redneck interlude is about. They seem to be two disparate stories, completely unconnected to each other or anything that has happened previously.
– Page 48. I enjoyed the chapter with Orin, but again there’s that fascination and then discarding of women with almost the same disgust as he feels for cockroaches. In fact the upturned glasses holding dying bugs could be kind of a metaphor for the brief liaisons in the book so far. And why does he have one arm and leg bigger than the other? Why the night sweats?
– Page 54. I feel like he was high when he wrote this massive paean to getting secretly high. (Heh. Massive paean.)
– Page 59. Yay more unrelated characters. This time a thug with a huge head who accidentally suffocates a Canadian-French dignitary during a burglary. Pretty sure page 59 was comprised of just two sentences. I am out of breath just reading it in my head. WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE DISPROPORTIONATELY LARGE BODY PARTS?
– Page 63. So far feels like a modern American Gormenghast. So many characters who don’t seem to influence each others’ story yet. I hope they match up later in the book. Btw I am picturing Uncle CT as Tobias Fünke from Arrested Development. No idea why.
That’s all for today. I’ve got to put myself through more of this tomorrow. Can’t wait.