It’s difficult for me to talk about David Foster Wallace without sounding like a cult worshipper. When I read Infinite Jest and his other works, I couldn’t fathom that the brain that had created this unbelievable writing was once enclosed in a real person who walked and talked and bought groceries among us. This is why I was so excited to see Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace, a new book by David Lipsky. It is a five-day long transcription of the last leg of Wallace’s Infinite Jest book tour in 1996, which Lipsky accompanied him on for a Rolling Stone profile. Consisting almost entirely of Lipsky’s continuous tape recordings of his interviews and the most mundane of the two’s travel experiences, this book is an incredible window into Wallace’s thoughts on the importance of fiction and communication through the written word and how he grappled with the overnight fame and attention that Infinite Jest brought him. His suicide in 2008 casts a heart-wrenching sense of dread across the days documented here, but this is not a depressing book.  Wallace was a brightly burning personality, and it is humbling and inspiring to witness how the wit and empathy we’ve seen in his prose was of the same quality as the words that once tumbled out of his mouth.

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