This is heavy reading, 1,080 pages of it, including a good hundred or so pages of end notes. Bring two bookmarks, a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, and a willingness to deal with Mr. Wallace's proclivities. There's a number of narratives here, but the whole thing, when you get down to it, is about addiction. Addiction to drugs, and addiction to entertainment. Addiction to athletics, and addiction to politics.
It's the stories of Hal Incandenza, tennis prodigy, drug addict, and his collapse into psychosis, as well as Donald Gately, former drug addict, recovery house worker, and his attempt to keep himself clean. It's about Quebecois trying to secede from the O.N.A.N. using a video cartridge made by Hal's father, a video so entertaining, so enrapturing, that you will watch it over and over and over until you die.