Putting the Internet to Infinitely Good Use

By Sean Carroll | June 3, 2009 1:38 pm

Finally someone has discovered a useful purpose for all of those wires connecting all of our computers. Infinite Summer is basically an online book club, devoted to David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. (Via Ezra Klein, who commandeered the only obvious blog post title.) Anyone who would like to join along should plan on reading 75 pages a week (not at all burdensome), and can then come join the conversation.

I once read through Gravity’s Rainbow with a real-world reading group, and it added a lot to the experience. And I would like to do a blog-based book club when my own book comes out, so this should be a learning experience. I’m going to give it a shot, anyway.

  • marco

    sweet, i’ve been looking for some motivation to pick this up off my dusty shelf and read it finally!

  • http://www.videoaccent.com doublechateau

    Tried to read it once and didn’t succeed. Maybe the time is right (although I’m finishing off “Against the Day” I don’t know if I need another long one).

  • Matt B

    Cool – I’m in the middle of my first read through this, anyway, and it’s indescribable. I can’t remember being this challenged and having this much fun at the same time before.

  • Scott Pauls

    So, 75 pages including footnotes? If not, some weeks could be substantial :)

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  • http://www.thecolorofinfinity.com Josh Smith

    When does the book come out? I’m looking forward to that reading group.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/sean/ Sean

    Are you asking about my book? Oct 15 is the target, but a may be a couple of weeks late. And it’s probably going to be more expensive than currently advertised — so buy now!

  • Jim

    I found it really slow going between pages ~30 ~ 200, but it really takes flight after the chronology is clear and all the story lines are established.

  • RD

    Sean, have a look at the way CommentPress do it. It is the first good way of commenting on text that I have seen:
    The link above is an example of it in use (I am sure you will also agree with the sentiments it expresses :))

  • http://www.farrellmedia.com John Farrell

    I wish I had thought of this when my book came out!

  • JHM

    I’m slightly over 1/3 of the way through, and I swear it keeps getting better. Way to go.

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  • http://www.thecolorofinfinity.com Josh Smith

    Sean, I was asking about your book, so thanks for the link. Is Dutton planning on making it available in a Kindle edition? If not, I’m sure I can scrape up the funds, somewhere, to buy the real deal.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/sean/ Sean

    I don’t know for sure if there will be a Kindle edition, but I suspect there will be, as other Dutton books have them.

  • amy

    Just finished Infinite Jest. Yes, it is quite the project, but completely brilliant, seriously disturbing, and hilarious, provided you have a deep appreciation for the dark and the absurd.

  • http://www.myenergyfriends.com/ Alternative Energy

    Thanks for the info on the Jest… Looks like interesting reading.


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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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