Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men


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In his startling and singular new short story collection, David Foster Wallace nudges at the boundaries of fiction with inimitable wit and seductive intelligence. Among the stories are 'The Depressed Person', a dazzling and blackly humorous portrayal of a woman's mental state; 'Adult World', which reveals a woman's agonised consideration of her confusing sexual relationship with her husband; and 'Brief Interviews with Hideous Men', a dark, hilarious series of portraits of men whose fear of women renders them grotesque. Wallace's stories present a world where the bizarre and the banal are interwoven and where hideous men appear in many different guises. Thought-provoking and playful, this collection confirms David Foster Wallace as one of the most imaginative young writers around. Wallace delights in leftfield observation, mining the ironic, the surprising and the illuminating from every situation. His new collection will delight his growing number of fans, and provide a perfect introduction for new readers.

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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 124 x 196 x 20mm | 240.41g
  • 18 Jan 2001
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Abacus
  • London
  • English
  • 034911188X
  • 9780349111889
  • 28,273

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Author Information

David Foster Wallace's fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Playboy, Harper's and Paris Review. He has received the Whiting Award, the Paris Review Prize for humour, the QPB Joe Savago New Voices Award and an O. Henry Award. He died in September 2008.

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Review quote

His skills as a literary innovator are immense...this is an entertaining and dazzlingly innovative work...a dizzying gallop actoss the wild frontier of contemporary fiction. DAILY TELEGRAPH Endlessly inventive EVENING STANDARD Exceptionally clever INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY As clever and intriguing as Wallace's past work...these strong, sad voices ring powerfully clear The Time Wallace's talent is such that you can't help wondering: how good can he get? Time Out Contains longish stretches of genius -- Geoff Nicholson Independent

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Review text

Lucid, learned and left field, these stories from the author of the exhaustingly entertaining Infinite Jest owe a debt to Gaddis, Barth and, most obviously Pynchon. You could be forgiven for thinking that Wallace is in thrall to the idea of novelty for novelty's sake. Here, for example is the first story in the collection, A Radically Condensed History of Postindustrial Life, in its 79-word entirety: 'When they were introduced, he made a witticism, hoping to be liked. She laughed extremely hard, hoping to be liked. Then each drove home alone, staring straight ahead, with the very same twist to their faces. The man who'd introduced them didn't much like either of them, though he acted as if he did, anxious as he was to preserve good relations at all times. One never knew, after all, now did one now did one now did one.' But delve deeper and you discover that Wallace is a firm enemy of trendiness. He satirises the quest for the dernier cri even as he epitomises the trend. Sprinkled through this volume are three stories with the title Yet Another Example of the Porousness of Certain Borders. The entries given here are numbered 11, six and 24. Four stories share the title of the book and appear to have been dredged at random from some obscure archive of recondite transcripts. The most enjoyable piece here is a screen adaptation of Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Nibelungen Saga called Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko. Naturally it involves many footnotes. If Wallace is a product of academia's navel-gazing culture, he is also its severest critic. (Kirkus UK)

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