>>7611422 He's like a long winded Barthelme, or like the ultimate goal of what DFW wanted to be at some point in his career. His first two novels aren't a bad place to start. They mirror one another in a lot of ways, but both are only mediocre. The Sot-Weed factor is where he really started to hit his stride. It wouldn't be a bad place to start either but god damn, its big.
Whatever you do, make sure you don't read Letters or Chimera until you've read everything else by him before it.
>>7611422 I just read him for the first time, and began with Lost In The Funhouse. What I'd advise is trying to read all the stories in order (even if in multiple sittings, as in don't pick and choose a couple stories and read other shit at the same f'in time).
People can debate up and down the degree to how successful that book is (though a lot of that discussion is founded on the presumption that successful and fun occupy the same spot on a continuum), but it's undeniably a structural masterpiece. The progression of the pieces is so meticulously designed and thought-out it's pretty beautiful (though the back half of the book is REALLY challenging):
Example from Melenaiad (second to last story):
" ' " ' " ' "Love!" ' " ' " ' "
(which is supposed to indicate the story being told through seven different mouths/layers).
If you like theory, you'll appreciate it. If you read only for facts/fun, it (and, most likely, his entire bibliography) is probably not for you.
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