Pageviews past week

Friday, February 10, 2017

#4 - The Pale King - David Foster Wallace

Title:  The Pale King
Author:  David Foster Wallace
Read by:  Robert Petkoff
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher/Date:  Hachette Audio/2011
ISBN: 978-1-60841-975-2
CDS/hours:  16/19
Listened to:  1/4/17 - 2/9/17

Published posthumously Wallace left behind unpublished work of which The Pale King is a part.
The back cover says “it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel”.  I take exception is this statement, yet spent 19 hours listening to drivel and banter and endless repetition of words.  So, it must have had some redeeming value for me to spend so much time on one story which had no plot.

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace.  But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling.  And he has arrived at a moment when forces with the IRS are plotting to eliminate what little humanity and dignity the work still has.

Having been a federal employee myself for 31 years I can understand how this could happen.  However, I found my career more satisfying and rewarding.  I think it’s ironic that Wallace put himself in the story and then died, since those working for the feds cannot be published while employed by our national government.

No comments: