The Pale King

An Unfinished Novel

by David Foster Wallace

The Pale King

Hardcover, 548 pages, Little Brown & Co, List Price: $27.99 | purchase

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Book Summary

The character David Foster Wallace is introduced to the banal world of the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, and the host of strange people who work there, in a novel that was unfinished at the time of the author's death. By the author of Infinite Jest. 100,000 first printing.

NPR stories about The Pale King

Best Books Of 2011

Year-End Fiction Wrap-Up: The 10 Best Novels Of 2011

David Foster Wallace's posthumously published, unfinished novel, The Pale King, clocks in at over 500 densely printed pages. No matter. Every few block paragraphs or so, a sentence will bubble to the surface that's so genuine, it makes you realize how artificial, by comparison, so much other fiction is. The Pale King, which is ostensibly about an IRS agent and his officemates, is an epic about work — its dullness and its demands. This is a singular novel, and the fact that

Late author David Foster Wallace's unfinished book, The Pale King, is the sequel to his 1996 novel, Infinite Jest.

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