Like Julio Cortazar's famous novel, Infinite Jest (IJ) can be read in many ways. Both remain wildly different examples of fiction roaming the novel's frontier. IJ is slightly more convoluted and geometrically conceived than more typically structured reads.
"Alas, poor Yorick!--I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy..." ~ from Hamlet
After only 23 years since its publication, IJ is irrefutably a classic. But is it worthy of claiming its place in the, admittedly, arguably overrated pantheon of hallowed forebears like Ulysses, The Apes of God, Under the Volcano, The Recognitions, Hopscotch, Pale Fire, Gravity's Rainbow, Women and Men (not to mention a relatively unknown recursive-looped rarity like the heavily footnoted, The Dissertation, by R.M. Koster, for instance, and too many more obscure gems to mention by name)? Read IJ and, maybe, you'll find out.
IJs Gargantua-and-Pantagruelian girth (nearly 1100 leaves of small print on oversized pages) is its greatest challenge. Not its much maligned "Subsidized Time" or acronyms. Not its fascinating, Melvillean footnotes, whose footnotes' footnotes sometimes have their own footnotes -- common first-timer's complaints. Consider that vast backcountry of footnotes like panoramic rest stops along the way.
Hamlet opens: "Who's there?"
Infinite Jest opens: "I am...."
Reading IJ won't be a bust. Trust that two bookmarks are musts.
All things (everything and more!) IJ-related: no notes and errata regarding David Foster Wallace's (DFWs) tome of tomes will be deemed too arcane or lame for digressive threads.
All information DFW-relevant -- his other novels, story and essay collections, undergraduate philosophy treatise, or lengthy expose on the Annual Adult Video News Awards, even, or the howling fantods, whatever -- are welcome ad nauseam (or is it ad nauseated? ad nauseous?) as well.
(Footnotes have been temporarily removed for refurbishing).