By Matthew Yglesias
Julian’s act below is tough to follow, but I’ve been meaning for a while to post on the curious case of Enfield, the setting of most of the book. As best I can tell based on four years of college in the area, Wallace is pretty scrupulously accurate with the geographical details of Greater Boston area. And sufficiently detailed that you can really pinpoint where the Enfield Tennis Academy must be—east of Boston College and abutting Commonwealth Avenue along the Green Line of the T west of Allston. Which would be, basically, where the Chestnut Hill Reservoir is in real life.
Whether or not you accept that pinpoint location of ETA, the larger point is clear enough that “Enfield” is located where in the real world the neighborhood of Brighton is. And a reference to the BPD being on the scene after Himself’s suicide further reenforces the idea that Enfield, like Brighton, is in fact a part of the City of Boston despite functioning to an extent like a separate town.