Girl with Curious Hair Paperback – Feb 6 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Postmodern short stories from Wallace satirize the absurdities of contemporary pop culture.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In assessing this book, comparisons with Don DeLillo, Tom Robbins, and Robert Coover seem accurate, for Wallace is playful, idiomatically sharp, and intellectually engage. Overwhelming in his long, torrential sentences and his wit, he at times subjects us to overwritten, almost showy, passages, but his talent is undeniable. Included in this collection is a novella that examines, among other things, post-modernism. His (generally overlong) stories explore popular culture through the lives of a variety of characters: a lesbian with a three-year winning streak on Jeopardy, an actress anxious about appearing on David Letterman, a wealthy Republican yuppie who has a disturbing connection with some punk rockers; and Lyndon Johnson in a closeup that shows how well a historical figure can be used in fiction. Impressive in scope and savvy.
- Peter Bricklebank, City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've just finished it in almost one sitting, and like so often, when the book you've just finished didn't turned out to be total crap, you start missing its characters.
I miss Julie Smith from the "Jeopardy !" show, I wanna stick to "Sick Puppy" and his punky friends visiting a Keith Jarrett (!) concert. I feel sorry for old pal Chuck Nunn, jr., who, after a car accident, had his eyes constantly popping out their holes (!!). I deeply felt for the woman who "appeared in the David Letterman show", don't be nervous anymore ! And then finally there's David Boyd, first boy and close friend of the president of the United States, Lynton B.Johnson !
David Foster Wallace presents each of the five stories in a different tone, a different style: There's the more traditional narrative form in the first story, pure satire (with shades of Brett Easton Ellis's "American Psycho") in the second, and a haunting yet nightmarish and illogical atmosphere in the third one. The fourth story comes with a dry, almost documentary-like kind of prose, while the fifth and last story (the LBJ story) once again returns to more traditional grounds.
But don't worry: David Foster Wallace successfully manages to avoid pretentiousness or self-indulgence and never lets "Girl with curious hair" end up in a writing skill showcase !
This book is funny, it's brilliant, it should be regarded as a modern classic, but word comes around his other books are even better <...> oboy !
Little Expressionless Animals-This story blended the absurd business of game shows perfectly with the absurd story of a savant lesbian and her autistic brother. This was probably my favorite story.
Luckily the Account Representative Knew CPR- This story was the very crisp. It is short, and it is still detailed, but it is not an extravaganza like the others. It is a good story, though, and very clever.
Girl With Curious Hair- This story is hilarious and very perverse. My brother says it is pro-Republicanism, but I do not believe him. It may be too perverted for many people.
Lyndon- This is a good example of DFW's ability to recreate actual famous people. It is also a comment on the different kinds of love people have. I don't think that I understood it.
John Billy- John Billy is an excellent example of DFW's style. It is a simple story about the hometown hero Chuck Nunn Jr, told in a complicatedly Kansan dialect and with a bizzarre twist at the end.
Here and There- This is a story that I enjoyed very much. It is a dialectic account of the failure of a genius to love. It has an anti-ending similar to Infinite Jest, though, which many find troublesome.
My Appearance- This may be the best story in the collection. It explores the conflicting themes of sincerity/naivite and irony/cynicism. It also stars David Letterman.
Say Never- This story was about a man who cheats on his wife and then with his brother's girlfriend, and then confesses. It is told from his p.o.v., the brother's, and their mother's friend Labov.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Unfortunately, there is a very real difference between those with a gift for manipulating the human language and good 'writers'. Continents of difference. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Brandon B. Alspaugh
Why do so many reviews warn readers of the complexity of Infinte Jest? I found Infinite Jest to be a hundred times more readable than most of the stories in Girl with Curious Hair. Read morePublished on July 27 2002
An amazingly fast read for David Foster Wallace, this book's title story was my favorite. That is not to say, however, that the other stories were not worthy of their own unique... Read morePublished on April 26 2002
All the tales are more than OK here,
but two are really with the genius touch...
I have recently gotten into modern fiction, after years of reading Hemingway and others during his time and before. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2001 by Joe McClure
Wallace's breadth of effective writing is staggering. He paints from the endlessly complex to the economically subtle. Read morePublished on April 13 2001 by Aaron Reardon
I think this is a real genius.
The first tale about Lyndon Johnson is great, "Say Never" is a MASTERPIECE.
I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but I feel that I'm a pretty well-read guy. I love David Foster Wallace. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2000 by Brooks Williams
Wallace seems to be playing with all possible styles in this one; I get the distinct feeling talking with him would involve many sentence fragments punctuated by insane... Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2000 by Zentao