I recently read the book “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”. It is written by David Foster Wallace. The only other book of essays I’ve read was by Bertrand Russel and I read it five years ago. So, you can see, I’m not too keen on reading essays. But this was something else. One of the best books I’ve read!
The essay that I loved the most, was the title essay that was published in Harper’s Magazine in 1996, which is otherwise titled as “Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise”. The author is on a ship named the Nadir and is extremely bored of the “absolutely nothing” that he is doing there, that he is supposed to enjoy! It’s a long essay, but it’s remarkably funny. I was hooked from the start till the end!
Every thing about the word ‘luxury’ makes me cringe – which is one reason why this was the perfect book for me. Another is that I’m not fascinated much by the ocean; I love nature, but there is only a finite number of minutes for which I can look at endless blue water and not get bored. And I’m not into fish! I’ve never been on a cruise, and I really don’t think I ever want to be; specially not now after reading this book!
I read about the essay somewhere, before I got my hands on the book(or my mouse…or cursor?) and there was this quote: my single biggest peeve about the Nadir: they don’t even have Mr. Pibb; they foist Dr. Pepper on you with a maddeningly unapologetic shrug when any fool knows that Dr. Pepper is no substitute for Mr. Pibb, and it’s an absolute god-damned travesty, or, at best, extremely dissatisfying indeed. The total randomness of this is what made me want to read the essay! And I wasn’t dissatisfied at all!
For me on a list of five Supposedly Fun Things that I’ll Never Do, on the fifth position will be ‘going to a fancy restaurant, where you have to eat teenie portions with knives and forks’; and the remaining four positions on the list can be filled by one thing: shopping! What about you?!