David Foster Wallace Serial Killer

David Foster Wallace wrote a story about a serial killer. It’s in a book called Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. I don’t think the story has a title, but it’s on page 286 in the Kindle edition, and it is called interview number 20. Spoilers are to follow.

This is the best story in the whole book. The story is about a cad who likes to pick up women for one night stands. He sees a woman at a festival, and he wants to pick her up for sex, but he dismisses the idea of any further relationship because he thinks she is a hippy chick stereotype. He assumes she is not very smart, and will bore him over time with her predictability. However, after sex the woman tells him a story of how she was abducted and raped by a serial killer. She saved her own life by being so loving with him, that he could not bring himself to kill her. She never goes to police as she knows that he will either kill himself or not kill again. Why she never goes to the police is not clear, but it may of had something to do with that she loved him too much to report him. The story makes the pick up artist fall in love with the woman. As she is leaving he touches the hem of her dress to gesture that means, he does not want her to leave and that he loves her, but he is too overwhelmed to speak. It is not clear if she stays with him or leaves him. But, this is as close to a happy ending as David Foster Wallace ever gives his readers. Normally, David Foster Wallace won’t end a story at all or his stories end tragically. Do you have a question or comment? Feel free to leave a message.

“And yet I did not fall in love with her until she had related the story of the unbelievably horrifying incident in which she was brutally accosted and held captive and raped and very nearly killed.”

-Opening text of the story

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s