Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius


A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers

I really like it, although I can see how it is an odd read.


Even a sometimes unrewarding read. But the guy's neurotic, manic-depressive personality and imagination... It's magnetic. It's just awesome of him to unleash such a quantity of himself, and such an entertaining quantity. Besides, it's a masterpiece. How does he manage to write such an amusing and lighthearted book on such a horrible subject? And then, there's the whole curiosity of a twenty-something suddenly becoming a parent of a 7-year-old. What would you have done? That's fascinating.


He has also invented something. There's this massive introduction/preface/acknowledgements section  which he untraditionally uses to analyze and apologize for his book. In this section, all his insecurities come out and then he analyzes them and then tells you he's aware that he's analyzing his awareness of his inability to come to terms with his use of his insecurities to get your attention... it's a vision with so many layers that, like the title, you just never have a point of reference to tell you if this guy deserves pity or is truly a total genius. It's pity, but that's the genius, so he doesn't deserve pity and therefore it's not genius, but he knows that, so we must pity him, and therefore... by induction, it's ... what? which one? what is it?


Despite the logic puzzles, it's quite an easy read. If you're not interested in the young-unexpected-parenting theme, then it will feel dull, but if you are then along with his unique style and whacked out imagination you'll be buoyed right through.

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