Tuesday, February 23, 2010
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
I don't why it took me so long to read this book, I am a huge Dave Eggers fan. I really admire what he does with McSweeney's and his 826 writing program. Admiration aside, this is one of the best books I've ever read. I know the title is supposed to be hyperbole, but I have to say, it's right on the money, this book is heartbreaking all over the place and its genius is staggering, no lie. This is Eggers own story: the loss of his parents and the aftermath, raising his brother while still trying to finish growing up himself. Eggers doesn't portray himself as the tragic hero, sacrificing everything as he tries to raise his younger brother. In fact, Eggers lets us in on a dirty little secret: he is often more concerned with how things are affecting him. Maybe he's being selfish, but it looks to him like no one else seems to care how he's dealing, so his internal life becomes very self-centered. That internal life is brutally honest, and Eggers pulls off an amazing feat, giving readers true insight into the mind of someone grieving. It's not what you expect, but make no mistake, it lives up to the title.