Sunday, January 27, 2013

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, signed first edition

I recently reviewed David Foster Wallace's posthumous collection of essays Both Flesh and Not for, which will likely be published there in the next week or so. The book had me very conflicted, as it contained examples of everything there is to love about DFW alongside some of the author's most frustrating, disappointing works. While I wouldn't call Both Flesh and Not a failure by any means, it certainly has its share of mis-steps--ones that I attribute to the posthumous nature of the book and the lack of authorial input.

Consider the Lobster is the last collection of essays published during Wallace's lifetime and it excels in many of the ways that Both Flesh and Not does not: Lobster feels purposeful and curated, which are surprisingly important traits for collected writings.

I found this signed copy of Consider the Lobster in Manhattan's Housing Works Bookstore around 2007 or 2008--I believe he came by to do a reading or a signing, and this was surplus stock after the event. I unfortunately didn't get a chance to meet the man, but I was able to pick this up for around $20.00. It's not in the best condition (some shelf wear and rubbing to the jacket) but overall a very good copy with a tight, straight binding. 

A first edition, with a full number line (and some bleeding ink coming through the back of the title page):

Currently reading:
Revenge by Yoko Ogawa

Currently listening to:
My dog's heavy, sleepy breathing


  1. Hello!
    My younger brother is deeply fascinated with DFW, and his graduation is near. Is there a price that I could buy this book from you? Thanks for the consideration.

    I too live in NYC, so I could easily come pick it up from you should you agree to part with it.

  2. Hi there-- prices of signed DFW books have jumped dramatically since his death. There are two signed copies of Consider the Lobster on abebooks at $750 and $1200, which seem very high but are unfortunately the going rates. I think something like $500 would be fair, but I understand if that's a lot higher than you were expecting.