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The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
The Pale King is a posthumous publication of the novel David Foster Wallace was working on at the time of his death. It centers around tax agents at an IRS processing center in Peoria, Ill. in 1985. The workers deal with a boredom so burdensome that they talk of suicide. At the same time, the managers clash over the traditional method of manually checking tax returns versus new computer algorithms that look for cheaters. Interspersed are chapters with a character named David Foster Wallace who claims this is a memoir. The Pale King has received positive reviews with the Dallas Morning News saying, "The Pale King is rich, multilayered book that will add to the author's already lofty reputation. Wallace's biggest achievement here may be making boredom interesting, almost heroic. 'If you are immune to boredom,' he boasts at one point, 'there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.' Certainly Wallace lives up to those words, accomplishing something grand in this quirky, daring novel."