"Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace.
So far I feel... duped. Cheated, maybe. Sold a false bill of goods. I bought the tenth anniversary printing featuring a foreword by Dave Eggers. In retrospect I wish I hadn't read that foreword:
In commissioning this foreword, the publisher wanted a very brief and breezy essay that might convince a new reader of Infinite Jest that the book is approachable, effortless even -- a barrel of monkeys' worth of fun to read. Well. It's easy to agree with the former, more difficult to agree with the latter. The book is approachable, yes, because it doesn't include complex scientific or historical content, nor does it require any particular expertise or erudition. As verbose as it is, and as long as it is, it never wants to punish you for some knowledge you lack, nor does it wasn't too send you to the dictionary every few pages.
The book is everything Eggers says it isn't. It absolutely punishes you for some knowledge you lack, and it sends you to the dictionary not every few pages but at least once every page.
I'm supremely skeptical now. I fear I've wasted money on a three-pound hunk of dead tree that, so far, is terribly pretentious and a slog to wade through.