Wow, this twenty-three story prose collection begins obtrusively, proceeds into the
convoluted unknown and ends at a destination to which you had no idea you were going.
When I first slipped this CD into my player, I had no idea what I was in for, not having
the luxury of having heard Wallace’s previous works. Krasinski’s narration is eerie and
haunting in his reading of Wallace’s works. I first thought I had stepped into the middle
of a story that I had not been privy to previously, but as I listened with more intent I
realized that this was the story. Beginning with a man sitting outside watching swimmers
at a pool, story one became a probing study of every detail of the event, pulling the
listener into the emotional movement of the scene. Wallace's description of a diving board
This review may seem to you to be somewhat ambiguous, but you need to listen to Brief
Interviews with Hideous Men to understand it. Wallace brilliantly describes different
men’s personalities in detailed, emotionally descriptive language that gives the listener an
"inside looking out looking in" kind of perspective. Many of his descriptions are hideous
and others are unfortunately true.
The book is written in an interview style where the listener does not actually hear the
interviewer. The reader only hears the answer after the simplistically stated "Q" and is
led through the interview, with the response being the descriptive study of the character or
event. This was at first disconcerting, but as the stories are presented the reader does get
the idea and it becomes easy to follow. This is an extremely unique and intriguing writing
I think it would be a good idea to read the jacket first in order to get an idea of the
book’s concept and flow. I did not do that and was lost in the beginning. This audio book
is not for everyone. If you are a fan of Wallace’s work, you will enjoy its intensity and
become wrapped up in its intrigue. If you are not, you may savor it or simply turn it off
and go to sleep.