“Shipping Out” by David Foster Wallace
My English teacher from senior year had us read it, and it was very interesting, but didn’t become relevant until recently.
A fairly representative passage:
Down in the Five-Star Caravelle Restaurant, the waiter will not only bring you a lobster as well as a second and even a third lobster with methamphetaminic speed but will also incline over you with gleaming claw-cracker and surgical fork arid dismantle it for you, sparing you the green goopy work that’s the only remotely rigorous thing about lobster.
This article from Nieman Storyboard (a Harvard publication that is a sort of “intersection of storytelling and news across all media”) is a great evaluation of just how great Wallace’s writing about his cruise experience truly is.
Of Wallace, Megan Garber says:
Wallace isn’t just a writer. He is a philosopher with a writer’s imagination.
Says Paul Motter in an article from CruiseMates, which is a cruise travel guide website:
Wallace’s humor and personality remain irresistible and for experienced cruisers the essay is a page turner. I only wish I could have been on that cruise with him to distract him from thinking so much.
And if you like the above articles, you’ll enjoy this one too, which examines Wallace’s writing deeply.