My my, what a book. And the eponymous joke is on who exactly? The characters or the readers?
Not for the faint hearted at over 1,000 pages including 380 miniscule footnotes some of which are pages long in themselves, this is not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, it’s not much of anything by any stretch of the imagination. Even Wallace’s. It lacks a beginning, a middle, an end, a plot, a point. The vast majority is sheer tedium punctuated by very, very isolated islands of brilliance.
It does, however, have characters a few of which are very well crafted and ingenious in each of their own rights. Unfortunately, most of these are fairly pointless, and there are an awful lot of them.
It may well be that the literati are correct when they say that this is an important novel that we all need to read. I honestly haven’t a clue.
It’s unique, thats for sure. And we can at least be thankful for that.