Stephen Miller

Startup cofounder, AI researcher, podcaster, person, etc.

Good Old Neon (PDF)

Last update:

David Foster Wallace’s “Good Old Neon” is one of my absolute favorite stories, and I uploaded it here to share with friends. Google crawlers eventually found it, and it became the top hit when you search for the title — but with no attribution for DFW or the publisher, whose intellectual property I have zero right to. If anyone with the publishing company would like me to take this down, please let me know. As it stands, I hope it encourages more people to seek out his work: the ~1 hour read explores fraudulence and self-doubt in unbelievable detail, and it makes for a great introduction to his broader, more sprawling art. This story is the first thing I ever read of his: by the closing line, I knew an avalanche was coming.

If you liked this work, you might be interested in more recommendations on this site. Particularly my bi-monthly fiction roundups, weekly film reviews, and miscellaneous writings.

“Good Old Neon” appears in Oblivion: Stories. It was written by David Foster Wallace, and published by Little, Brown and Company in 2004. You can buy the excellent book here. Fans of this work should check out his other short-form collections, particularly A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster. Also read his absolutely beautiful New Yorker piece, “Good People”. And, of course, Infinite Jest, the beloved novel which delves into many of these themes in far more depth.

Good Old Neon (PDF 1.5MB)