The Pale King

By David Foster Wallace (Audiobook, 2011)
The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has.

The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions--questions of life's meaning and of the value of work and society--through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace's unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our time.

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has.

The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions--questions of life's meaning and of the value of work and society--through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace's unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our time.

David Foster Wallace wrote the novels Infinite Jest and The Broom of the System and the story collections Oblivion, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and Girl With Curious Hair. His nonfiction includes Consider the Lobster, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Everything and More, and This Is Water. He died in 2008.
  • "As narrator, Robert Petkoff presides with gusto over this alternative slice of Americana, and he does so with a bevy of character voices, subtle asides, and a style that captures one's attention from the book's first word." (AudioFile Magazine on The Broom of the System).

  • "Krasinski, who directed the film adaptation of the book, is especially fine, reading with a stern, intellectual edge that is at once witty and unabashed. As a whole, each narrator complements the unique work he delivers." (AudioFile on Brief Interviews with Hideous Men).

  • "The Best Mind of His Generation" (The New York Times).

  • "A prose magician, Mr. Wallace was capable of writing...about subjects from tennis to politics to lobsters, from the horrors of drug withdrawal to the small terrors of life aboard a luxury cruise ship, with humor and fervor and verve. At his best he could write funny, write sad, write sardonic and write serious. He could map the infinite and infinitesimal, the mythic and mundane. He could conjure up an absurd future...while conveying the inroads the absurd has already made in a country where old television shows are a national touchstone and asinine advertisements wallpaper our lives." (The New York Times).

  • "One of the most influential writers of his generation." (The New York Times).

  • "A novelist with the industrial-strength intellectual chops to theorize even our resolutely anti-intellectual age....Walace's ear for dialogue was unmatched in contemporary fiction." (Time).

  • (Library Journal).

Product Details

The Pale King
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio
  • Price: $26.98 US/$29.98 CAN
  • Audio Run Time: 1140
  • ISBN-13: 9781609419769
  • On Sale Date: 04/15/2011
The Pale King