Technically Infinite Jest was Jim's pick this year, but can you fault me for loving a guy with good taste? This is an astonishing book and it boggles the mind that anyone was capable of writing it.
Here's what Jim said then (Dec. 5-11):
This book takes place in the future (the future David Foster Wallace envisioned in the mid 1990s, the future we envision today is a bit different, there's really no place for the Clean Party in the coming years), in the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment, which I think is 2009.
Set in the Metro Boston area, about half of the story takes place at the Enfield Tennis Academy, an elaborate campus atop a scenic hill offering a view of the massive catapults that hurl waste north to the Great Concavity, while the other half of the book (it's a massive tome, 1000 or so pages including the copious foot notes, which you really can't skip) focuses on a halfway house half-way down the same hill.
A number of unforgettable characters populate the pages, the entire Incandenza family (including the long departed patriarch, the “Mad Stork” James Orin Incandenza, who visits Don Gately in wraith form after Gately gets shot by the Canuck with the “Moose” shirt after the coke addict who kills the dogs… it gets complicated.)
The book is excellent, the first fifty pages or so may not be exactly easy going, but soon the novel opens right up and you don't want it to end. Which it does… eventually. Kind of.
Oh–and there's Eschaton and the wheelchair assassins and the Madame Psychosis radio program and the Whataburger invitational and Pemulis buying that DMZ…