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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

I didn’t want to like it, I really didn’t.  People evangelize Dave Eggers’ work like it was penned by the Good Lord, himself.  I didn’t want to drink the Kool-Aid.  I’m better than that, I thought.  My tastes are more discriminating and I will not succumb to a mere craze in the literary world.  He just can’t be that fabulous.

Oh, but he is.  Eggers’ slightly fictionalized account of raising his younger brother after his parents both die from cancer around the same time is powerful.  Yes yes the story is interesting and sad, but what makes it great is the unique writing style.  Eggers is boldly self-aware and often breaks down the fourth wall to discuss the book’s themes.  His stream of conscious style is a constant reminder that he is still a young man in his early to mid twenties and no amount of circumstance will re-wire that.  He is funny, suave, and frustrating as hell – in other words, completely captivating.  Take my advice and don’t wait as long as I did to read this book.    

9 out of 10 stars

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