A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
By Dave Eggers
- Author: Dave Eggers
- Publisher: Vintage Books
- Published: February 2001
- ISBN-10: 0375725784
- ISBN-13: 9780375725784
- Format: Paperback
- Copyright: 2001
- Subject: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary
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As original a memoir as exists in recent American literature - the sheer poignancy of the author's grieving for a mother and father, both succumbing to cancer within a month of each other, and his arduous compassion in assuming the care of his younger brother - the book takes on new life in its present paperback edition: a new appendix correcting and updating the original, an upside-down back cover creating a book that seems to open from either end, and three different versions, each with its own cover illustration. 485p. Pap. 'A merciless book' - David Foster Wallace.
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A Mind-numbing Work of Flagging BoredomHave you ever wound up in some completely alien environment wherein you’re desperately hungry, thirsty or otherwise uncomfortable and you have to get somewhere in a hurry? It seems no matter how hard you slog, you can’t reach your goal. You notice how your very destination seems to recede with each step you take towards it, like the elusive horizon itself. This book is like that. After awhile, even though it has splashes of colorful passages amid the gray tedium, I was desperate to reach the end but it seemed nowhere in sight. Dave Eggers, in his first book, decided to play with the conventions of storytelling and the book form itself. Casual flipping through the book reveals some amusing surprises, such as witty asides on the endpapers, mildly amusing captions, et al. But they’re not enough to save this tome. Then of course there is the page that gives rules and suggestions for the enjoying this book, one of which is that there is no need to read the preface…which of course immediately makes one curious to read the darned thing only to discover the author was right. It’s boring, rambling, needlessly frivolous and beside the point. You want those things, read the book.