The Pale King: How the Book Came Together (and How to Download the Novel in Audio)

When David Fos­ter Wal­lace com­mit­ted sui­cide in Sep­tem­ber 2008, he left behind the man­u­script for The Pale King, an unfin­ished nov­el he start­ed research­ing back in 1997, not long after the pub­li­ca­tion of Infi­nite Jest. The Pale King was final­ly pub­lished this past Fri­day (April 15), a date that was hard­ly arbi­trary. Offer­ing a lengthy med­i­ta­tion on bore­dom, The Pale King is set in a Mid­west­ern I.R.S. office. And what was April 15th? The day when Amer­i­cans tra­di­tion­al­ly file their tax­es (although they have until the 18th this year).

The posthu­mous nov­el came togeth­er with the help of Wal­lace’s long­time edi­tor, Michael Pietsch, who spent two years work­ing through heaps of pages left in bins, draw­ers and wire bas­kets, hop­ing to turn this mass of mate­r­i­al into the most com­plete nov­el pos­si­ble. The inter­view with Pietsch above, along with this short piece in The New York Times, brings you inside the editing/making of The Pale King, which has already received some favor­able reviews.

If you’re look­ing to get your hands on the book, give this some thought: If you reg­is­ter for a 14-day free tri­al with, you can down­load pret­ty much any audio book in Audi­ble’s cat­a­logue for free. And that cat­a­logue now includes The Pale King. Once the tri­al is over, you can con­tin­ue your Audi­ble sub­scrip­tion (as I did), or can­cel it, and still keep the free book. The choice is yours…

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.