The Broom of the System

The Broom of the System

Book - 2016
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Part of the Penguin Orange Collection, a limited-run series of twelve influential and beloved American classics in a bold series design offering a modern take on the iconic Penguin paperback

Winner of the 2016 AIGA + Design Observer 50 Books | 50 Covers competition

For the seventieth anniversary of Penguin Classics, the Penguin Orange Collection celebrates the heritage of Penguin's iconic book design with twelve influential American literary classics representing the breadth and diversity of the Penguin Classics library. These collectible editions are dressed in the iconic orange and white tri-band cover design, first created in 1935, while french flaps, high-quality paper, and striking cover illustrations provide the cutting-edge design treatment that is the signature of Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions today.

The Broom of the System

The "dazzling, exhilarating" ( San Francisco Chronicle ) debut novel from one of the most groundbreaking writers of his generation, The Broom of the System is an outlandishly funny and fiercely intelligent exploration of the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©1987.
ISBN: 9780143129448
Characteristics: 467 pages ;,20 cm.

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lukasevansherman
Jun 06, 2016

I feel torn about David Foster Wallace. I don't think there's much disputing that he was the most brilliant writer of his generation (Franzen, Moody, Chabon, Sparks), but what does that mean? I struggled through his massive, definitive novel "Infinite Jest," respecting it without particularly liking it. I greatly prefer his essays, collected in "Consider the Lobster" and "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." "The Broom of the System" is his first novel and it came out when he was only in his 20s. Set in the bland, yet quietly strange Midwest that he loved, it's more conventional and manageable (only 467 pages!) than "Infinite Jest," but it's hardly a page-turner and his formidable intelligence (and vocabulary) is evident. I'd also recommend the recent film about him, "The End of the Tour, in which Jason Segel does a surprisingly credible job of playing DFW. Aside from "Jest, he'd only write one more novel, the incomplete "The Pale King."

Marlowe Jan 09, 2016

David Foster Wallace shines in his first novel, demonstrating all the quirky characters, offbeat plotlines, and highly detailed systems, The Broom of the System is a novel of crisis, with the protagonist Lenore battling family, lovers, and pets. A great entry point for anyone looking to explore DFW. Though the ending may drive you mad.

s
stewstealth
Oct 29, 2014

First novel by DFW. Amusing and challenging. Worth reading if you are interested.

h
Huierre
Feb 17, 2013

I was curious about DFW, yet "Infinite Jest" just seemed WAY too long for an introduction. His debut novel, "Broom of The System", answered my questions. Great writing, interspersed with experimental, tedious, italics stream-of-consciousness that I found myself skipping through. He obviously knew a lot about psychoanalysis and philosophy. I get it, but think I'm done. Isn't brevity the soul of wit?

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