Challenge Book

Every semester, the English Club picks a challenge book to read – it could be anything. While reading, the club gets together (usually every other week) for discussion and analysis on a section of the book. These meetings happen in a casual atmosphere where students and faculty exchange ideas, thoughts, and opinions. So, come join us, read a book, learn something new, and read something challenging that isn’t for a grade.

FALL 2012
Basin Street Hotel
Meetings: 2nd & 4th Tuedays
Time: 6pm
Title: Vertigo
Author: Lynd Ward
Copyright: 1937
Category: Graphic Novel

FALL 2011-SPRING 2012
Location: Basin Street Hotel

  • Feb 9th – to pg 489
  • Feb 23rd – pgs. 490-563
  • Mar 8th – pgs. 564-662
  • Mar 22nd – pgs. 663 – 752
  • Apr 5th – pgs. 753 – 845
  • Apr 19th – pgs. 846 – 916
  • May 3rd – pgs. 917 – End

Title: Infinite Jest
Author: David Foster Wallace
Copyright: 1996
Category: Fiction

With its baroque subplots, zany political satire, morbid, cerebral humor and astonishing range of cultural references, Wallace’s brilliant but somewhat bloated dirigible of a second novel (after The Broom in the System) will appeal to steadfast readers of Pynchon and Gaddis. But few others will have the stamina for it. Set in an absurd yet uncanny near-future, with a cast of hundreds and close to 400 footnotes, Wallace’s story weaves between two surprisingly similar locales: Ennet House, a halfway-house in the Boston Suburbs, and the adjacent Enfield Tennis Academy. It is the “Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment” (each calendar year is now subsidized by retail advertising); the U.S. and Canada have been subsumed by the Organization of North American Nations, unleashing a torrent of terrorism by Quebecois separatists; drug problems are widespread; the Northeastern continent is a giant toxic waste dump; and CD-like “entertainment cartridges” are the prevalent leisure activity. The novel hinges on the dysfunctional family of E.T.A.’s founder, optical-scientist-turned-cult-filmmaker Dr. James Incandenza (aka Himself), who took his life shortly after producing a mysterious film called Infinite Jest, which is supposedly so addictively entertaining as to bring about a total neural meltdown in its viewer. As Himself’s estranged sons?professional football punter Orin, introverted tennis star Hal and deformed naif Mario?come to terms with his suicide and legacy, they and the residents of Ennet House become enmeshed in the machinations of the wheelchair-bound leader of a Quebecois separatist faction, who hopes to disseminate cartridges of Infinite Jest and thus shred the social fabric of O.N.A.N. With its hilarious riffs on themes like addiction, 12-step programs, technology and waste management (in all its scatological implications), this tome is highly engrossing?in small doses. Yet the nebulous, resolutionless ending serves to underscore Wallace’s underlying failure to find a suitable novelistic shape for his ingenious and often outrageously funny material.

Don Quixote: Man of La Mancha Part II
by M. Cervantes

FALL 2010
Don Quixote: Man of La Mancha Part I
by M. Cervantes

The Tunnel
by W. Gass

Gravity’s Rainbow
by T. Pynchon

FALL 2009

by J. Joyce

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