Both Flesh and Not by David Foster Wallace
Essays

80%

5 Critic Reviews

Every essay here is a skilful performance piece, and yet . . . one also hopes this is the end.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

Brilliant, dazzling, never-before-collected nonfiction writings by "one of America's most daring and talented writers." (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

Both Flesh and Not gathers fifteen of Wallace's seminal essays, all published in book form for the first time.

Never has Wallace's seemingly endless curiosity been more evident than in this compilation of work spanning nearly 20 years of writing. Here, Wallace turns his critical eye with equal enthusiasm toward Roger Federer and Jorge Luis Borges; Terminator 2 and The Best of the Prose Poem; the nature of being a fiction writer and the quandary of defining the essay; the best underappreciated novels and the English language's most irksome misused words; and much more.

Both Flesh and Not restores Wallace's essays as originally written, and it includes a selection from his personal vocabulary list, an assembly of unusual words and definitions.
 

About David Foster Wallace

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David Foster Wallace wrote the novels The Pale King, Infinite Jest, and The Broom of the System and the story collections Oblivion, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and Girl With Curious Hair. His nonfiction includes Consider the Lobster, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Everything and More, and This Is Water. He died in 2008.
 
Published November 6, 2012 by Little, Brown and Company. 294 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Both Flesh and Not
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Nov 15 2012

Today’s literary landscape, of course, is exponentially richer, more variegated and more complex — in no small part because of Wallace’s influence on contemporaries and younger writers...

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Sep 24 2013

There are a couple of clunkers here, but so what? Even Homer nods, and elsewhere, for the sheer joy of writing, and thinking, and helping you think better yourself, often about the most unlikely things, DFW is unsurpassable. I really, really wish he was still alive.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Mark O'Connell on Dec 30 2012

Both Flesh and Not is, on aggregate, a fine collection, and you could more or less open it at random and find something to demonstrate the man's prodigious talents. But it is, unavoidably, not Wallace at his best.

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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Schaefer on Nov 27 2012

This collection of essays bears witness to a truly great, searingly unique, and ultimately tragic American voice.

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Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Good on Dec 21 2012

Every essay here is a skilful performance piece, and yet . . . one also hopes this is the end.

Read Full Review of Both Flesh and Not: Essays | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Reader Rating for Both Flesh and Not
71%

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