D.T. Max describes some of the concerns which Wallace’s editor voiced after reading an early draft of Infinite Jest:

“[Michael Pietsch’s] other major editorial worry related to the physics of reading. The fragmentary structure of the book— three plot strands that seemed to come to the fore and then recede without pattern— was a lot. A little structural innovation was enriching, but too much and you lost the reader entirely. This was a harder problem for Wallace to solve, because the book consistently confounded the reader’s expectations on purpose. If reality was fragmented, his book should be too. It was also in keeping with Wallace’s insistence that the story not be so amusing that it re-create the disease he was diagnosing. It must not hook readers too easily, must not allow them to fall into the literary equivalent of “spectation.” Infinite Jest had to be, as he subtitled it, “a failed entertainment.” (Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story 182-183).