Before reading David Foster’s 2005 collection of short stories, Oblivion: Stories, I thought I was a fan of his fiction. I definitely am a fan of his essays and feature stories, which are interesting and inventive. As for his fiction, I have read his opus Infinite Jest, and the short stories collections Girl With Curious Hair, and Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and enjoyed them. But I have to admit; it was a chore to read through most of the stories in this collection. For example, “Mister Squishy” gave insight into the mind of a marketing director for a dessert junk food product whose interior monologue was somewhat tedious. “The Soul Is Not A Smithy” tells the story of a substitute teacher’s breakdown in the form of a grown former student’s mannered recollection. “Incarnations of Burned Children” was a brief, harrowing, and unpleasant read. “Another Pioneer” is almost Borgesian in how the story is given several possible versions and several possible endings, much like a myth, as it is retold by someone who was himself told by someone who overheard it on a United flight, told by one passenger to another. I wasn’t invested enough in the character/narrator of “Good Old Neon,” who I think was a stand in for the depressive Wallace himself, who tells of his fraudulent personality in painstaking and tedious detail. “Philosophy And The Mirror Of Nature” is a strange story about a boy who carries a briefcase full of black widows to a lawyer appointment with his mother who has had several botched plastic surgeries. “Oblivion” is a tedious look at how the issue of snoring or not snoring affects an empty nest couple. The last story in the collection is called “The Suffering Channel” and is about art, commerce, and shit. Even though I didn’t really enjoy reading these stories, I will still give DFW a chance with his last unfinished novel, The Pale King to see if, I am indeed a fan of his fiction.