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Consider the Lobster
by David Foster Wallace
Book Review by Amy Coffin
Would you like to read an in-depth analysis of an adult-video awards ceremony? Have you ever pondered the lobsters’ plight during Maine’s largest food festival? Do you want to ride along the campaign trail with a presidential candidate, or learn about the great lexicographic debate? These are just some of the subjects in Consider the Lobster.

David Foster Wallace is an intelligent writer. Unfortunately, I’m not always the sharpest reader. Portions of the book, and even one whole essay, went right over my head. However, I did love several pieces and their fascinating subjects as well as the author’s wit.

Consider the Lobster is heavy with footnotes and notes regarding the footnotes. Readers naturally browse the text then attempt to locate the referred footnote. The scattered locations and lengths of the footnotes is confusing and makes readers forget the original subject of the note in the first place.

Wallace’s writing is so sharp, however, that readers will accept the excessive footnotes. Even those few essays and points that went over my head weren’t enough to detract from my interest. Consider the Lobster is an entertaining set of essays, though distracted readers (like me) may have to pay more attention. The effort is worth it, though, in my opinion.

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