So, I wrote a novel…
It’s called “Meta” and it’s taken me about a year to do so, with the bulk of the work coming in the last 6 months, but it’s here. A real, actual physical object that I can hold in my hands. It’s maybe the project I’ve worked hardest on in my life thus far and the one that I’ve told the fewest people about. Even my family and close friends didn’t know what exactly I was working on until I’d had my 3rd draft or so done and sent it off to the editor.
I think it’s because I’ve always viewed the idea of “writing a book” as one of the most unsurmountable tasks a human being can undertake. There were certainly late nights where it felt like that was the case. But it’s done, I’m impatient and I hate sitting on things. I also hate “hyping” things, especially when they’re something I’ve never done before, so I’m putting it out pretty quickly: next Friday, November 1st.
Writing this novel has been by far one of the most satisfying accomplishments in my life. It took a lot to sit down and finally hammer out ideas for worlds and characters I’d had in my head for so long, and even longer to edit them, but actually seeing them there on the page just feels amazing. I tried to write a book that teenage me would have loved reading, but that “adult” me would love just as much. Some people might thing it stinks, but I know that I at least accomplished those two goals and can put a line through “write a novel” on the ol’ bucket list.
Since I’m a new novelist and I don’t want anyone to understandably hesitate on dropping $20 on a book that might not be for them, I’m initially releasing the eBook version for $2.99/£1.99/€2.49. That way I hope you’ll take a chance on it, and if you like it leave a review or recommend it to a friend. I believe the print version is going to list for somewhere around $11.99/£7.49/€8.99. If you buy the print version through Amazon though you’ll get the Kindle version for free too. The eBook will be available for Kindle, Apple iBooks, B&N Nook and Kobo. If you have a different eReader you should still be able to download from any of those sites and put it on your eReader since it will be DRM-free. A few weeks from now it should be available for ordering through local book stores as well.
So, yeah. Friday, November 1st. Take the day off from work. You can find out more, including boring details like “Hey, what’s your novel about?” over at Goodreads, where conveniently you can also add it to your To Read list and follow me.
Yo, I’ve read it and I can vouch for it. Go buy the goddamn book. It’s cheap!
11:24 am • 25 October 2013 • 42 notes
Why you shouldn’t read Infinite Jest
Hey, you’re pretty smart, right? Of course you are. You read books, even when you don’t have to. In fact, you find reading to be quite a pleasant experience. You do it for fun. Not actual fun, really, but the kind of thing you occasionally do when you want to act like a real grown-up for a little while. What an intelligent, fancy grown-up you are!
Oh, and your taste in literature? Impeccable. Your favorite book is The Great Gatsby, which is just classy enough to be for smart people (like you) without being all stodgy and old. Well done. You also like Kurt Vonnegut, and even though his books are written in real simple language, you can really appreciate all that is going on beneath the surface. Most people can’t. Really.
And the classics? They’re great. Yeah, those books certainly are great. Love those.
Because people know that you’re so well-read, you no doubt have at least one Barnes and Noble gift card burning a hole in your pocket this holiday season. As you’re browsing through the store or clicking around online, you’re probably going to come across Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace at some point.
You know about this book. You’ve heard people discussing this book at parties. You’ve probably been in a conversation in which you’ve implied that you’ve read this book without actually coming out and saying so. You’ll be tempted to buy this book.
"It’s about time," you’ll think. "I am capable of reading this. You know, because I’m an intelligent, well-read adult with good taste in literature and I read for fun, goddammit. I’m gonna get this book home and have the time of my life with this thing.”
And then you’ll think, “Then people will see how smart I am.” You’ll deny, especially to yourself, ever thinking that last part.
You will be wrong on all counts. Don’t buy this book. Here’s why:
1. The book is heavy.
I don’t mean that the book is long, which it is, and I guess that’s why it’s so heavy. But what I’m getting at is that you can’t really take it anywhere unless it’s the only thing you’re taking. And also, if you take it anywhere, you look like an asshole who is trying to impress people. Which you probably are, but a big part of being an asshole who is trying to impress people is trying to look like you’re not an asshole who is trying to impress people. Also, you won’t look very cool reading it because it’s so big and unwieldy that reading it in public would be an awkward display unlikely to impress anybody.
So, have fun reading it in your own depressing home, because you can’t read it in a park or coffee shop or on the subway. I think I read a book one time where a guy was reading a long book and he was going on a trip so he ripped a chunk out of the book to take with him, so I guess that’s an option. But it seems like that would be hard to do cleanly without damaging a bunch of the pages. And this book costs eighteen dollars, so do you really want to be taking that risk? Also, who wants to be a guy walking around carrying a third of a book that he ripped apart with his bare hands?
Also, you’re probably too weak to rip the book apart anyway.
2. You’re not smart.
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’d figure this out for yourself within 5 minutes of cracking open the book. (Before even opening the book, you’ll probably start talking to a lot of people about how you’ve started reading it and how you can tell it’s going to be great just by the first 50 pages. [You’ll never actually get past page 35.])
You’ll start with the foreword by Dave Eggers, because you want to get the full experience. You’ll get excited about how great the book is going to be, because Dave Eggers really sells it hard at first. But then he goes on and on about stuff and, well, you make it through the foreword, but maybe you’ll start the actual book tomorrow.
You’re busy tomorrow, though. A few days later you’ll start it and you’ll be prepared to drink in every glorious word. You’ll start reading before bed (that’s when you like to read all those books you read) and, shit, okay, what’s happening? Who’s talking? Oh, this is one of those books you really gotta read like every word of. Okay, if you just slow down a little it all makes sense. Yeah, this is great.
It’s getting late now, and you’re tired. You’ve been reading for 25 minutes. You’re on page 5. The story started on page 3. You’re loving the hell out of it, but you’re too tired. You’ll read more tomorrow, right before bed, which is the time that you read books.
3. You don’t actually read books.
After a few nights of reading 2-4 pages before getting too tired to keep your eyes open, it will eventually dawn on you that you never actually read books before bed. You’ll try to remember the last book you read and what time of day you did most of your reading. You won’t be able to think of this. You’ll look at your bookshelf to try to jog your memory and realize that you haven’t really read most of the books you own, except the ones by stand up comedians that are basically just their stand up acts written down.
4. You will never read another book again.
As you’re looking at the books on your shelf, you’ll find yourself very interested in reading some of them. But you’ve publicly committed to reading Infinite Jest, and you’d look like a fool if you bailed now. You know if you start another book now, you’ll neglect Infinite Jest. So you resolve not to read any of these presumably incredible books until you get through 1079 pages of a book you probably won’t even understand.
And the font size is so small!
And for some reason you thought the endnotes would make the book go by faster, but the font size is even fucking smaller and some of those endnotes go on for pages and pages and you don’t understand most of the words in them. Can you skip them? What if something important happens? Why read the book if you’re just going to skip parts? It’s a slippery slope. Why not just skip entire chapters, then? Okay, read the damn endnotes.
You will vow to finish Infinite Jest because you desperately want to read the shorter, less complex books you already own and if you can just plow ahead, you will become an actual reader of books. You’ll be well-read and interesting, having read all those books. If only you could be done with Infinite Jest, you’d read all the goddamn time and be so smart. Like Albert Einstein, or you know, whoever a book-reading version of Einstein would be.
But you will not finish Infinite Jest. You won’t finish it because you are lazy (and dumb) and who wants to read that stupid book anyway? As a result you will never read those books in your theoretical book queue. You will spend the rest of your life reading blogs that summarize stories from the New York Times in a snarky tone and you’ll change the subject whenever anyone brings up Infinite Jest at a party.
5. You will die alone.
Not because you didn’t finish reading Infinite Jest, but the whole ordeal is a pretty good example of what a pathetic, unlovable piece of shit you are.
4:59 pm • 20 July 2012 • 95 notes