I haven't read this book because I had always heard it was unfinished. I was reading about his suicide today, and it said that this book was left bundled and tidied and neatly placed on his desk next to his suicide note? Sounds pretty finished to me.
unfinished or not its pretty good and I would recommend reading it
It's very much unfinished. There are notes in the back for what else would have been included. There was going to be a picnic where everyone gets dosed w/lsd & a terrorist attack by a native american woman. It probably would have been pretty good.
>There was going to be a picnic where everyone gets dosed w/lsd
that happened in the book though
It's alluded to. I believe in the notes there was a plan to have a section of it in detail.
To clear up some misconceptions...
>In the garage, bathed in light from his many lamps, sat a pile of nearly two hundred pages.
(D.T. Max's "The Unfinished" - The New Yorker)
It was 200 pages that he "tidied up" and left out, presumably to be found.
>Below it, around it, inside his two computers, on old floppy disks in his drawers were hundreds of other pages—drafts, character sketches, notes to himself, fragments that had evaded his attempt to integrate them into the novel.
The rest of the novel came from this unapproved miscellaneous material.
I was literally just thinking exactly this thought, and I have never read/cared to read anything by DFW. Before I got on /lit/ I was just thinking about how it was proclaimed unfinished but neatly bundled as a manuscript and how I wanted to read it but didn't feel like starting a huge, unfinished novel. That was weird.
Pietsch's account from The Pale King's introduction:
>In November, Bonnie Nadell [Wallace's agent] joined Karen Green, David's widow, to go through his office .... On David's desk Bonnie found a neat stack of manuscript, twelve chapters totaling nearly 250 pages.
So what he left out to be found was only twelve chapters. There are fifty in the book.
>Exploring David's office, Bonnie and Karen found hundreds and hundreds of pages of his novel in progress .... Hard drives, file folders, three-ring binders, spiral-bound notebooks, and floppy disks .... I flew to California...and returned home with a green duffel bag and two Trader Joe's sacks heavy with manuscripts.
So, again, they went through his stuff and found a lot more than what he left out for them to find.
>Karen Green and Bonnie Nadell asked me to assemble from these pages the best version of The Pale King i could find.
Even unfinished works can be of superb quality. I haven't read Pale King, though one day I might, but Gogol's Dead Souls, also unfinished, ranks among my greatest literary experiences.
I'd say give it a go if you like Wallace.
Being unfinished actually suits this book well. It deals in part with things looming on the horizon but not arriving, waiting for something to happen and that thing not happening. And besides that, what Wallace did write is quite good. The book is far better than Girl with Curious Hair, for example.