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August 04, 2015

'Infinite Jest,' David Foster Wallace's challenging novel, has become the hot book of the summer thanks to the new film, 'The End of the Tour.' Here's how to trick people into thinking you've read the massive book.

Infinite Jest, a 1,079-page novel by David Foster Wallace from 1996, is becoming this summer’s hot book thanks to Jason Segel’s performance as Wallace in the new film, The End of the Tour. While Segel’s getting Oscar buzz, everyone’s talking about Infinite Jest again. But if you can’t find the time to read Wallace’s massive and challenging magnum opus, here’s how to trick people into thinking you have.

  • Drop Infinite Jest off the roof of your house. Then run it over with a big-ass truck. This will make it look like your book has been thoroughly read.

Chuck that book off your house …


…then demolish it with a truck!

  • Start wearing a bandana. When friends ask why, say: “It’s a tribute to my favorite author, David Foster Wallace, whose book Infinite Jest I have definitely read.”
  • Wear this shirt:
  • Enroll in a bullshit college that lets you create your major. Choose David Foster Wallace Studies. Pay a nerd to read Infinite Jest and write all your papers. Graduate with honors.
  • Put Infinite Jest on a shelf labeled “Books I’ve Read.”
  • When you’re Playboy or Playgirl‘s Playmate of the Month, in the questionnaire under “Turn-ons” write: “The time I finished Infinite Jest.”
  • Read the last page of Infinite Jest on a crowded subway platform, and when you reach the end, shout, “Finished!” Then slam the book shut.
  • Take two or three months to actually read it. It’s just a book.