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Topic: Dave Eggers?

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Subject: Dave Eggers?
Date Posted: 2/8/2012 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Anyone have trouble reading him?  I have tried and tried but can't get into his books.  I've given up on A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and What is the What.  Both received rave reviews, were bestsellers, etc.  Even the descriptions of each were fascinating and had me convinced that I'd love the books.  Not true at all.  It takes a lot for me to give up on a book, so I'm almost disappointed in myself for not being able to stick with either.  AHWOSG was excellent in the beginning, but halfway through I couldn't stand reading it any longer!  And I only got through about 175 pages of What is the What and found myself dreading the thought of returning to it.  I finally gave up and posted it to PBS just now.  Can anyone recommend anything by Eggers?  Or maybe his style just isn't for me.  I just don't get what the hype is all about with this author!

Date Posted: 2/8/2012 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I read "Where the Wild Things Are" by him and absolutely loved it!  Haven't read anything else by him, though.

Date Posted: 2/9/2012 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
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Tasha,   I just always felt that his work is a timepiece type of autobiographical work.  I am not his age and couldn't relate to his work either.  He is just too much younger than me for me to get it.

Date Posted: 2/10/2012 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 4,987
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A Heartbreaking Work definitely takes a sharp turn towards wierd about halfway in, away from his caring for his brother, to his dealing with his friend's accident and starting up the magazine.  At first reading, I found it unsettling, a little disappointing, because the tales involving Toph were so endearing.  However, I reread the book several times, and came to enjoy the whole thing.  Parts about the magazine had me laughing out loud.  And I especially identified with his going back to his childhood home and scattering his mother's ashes.  He was just a young man thrown into a lot of responsibility.  I recommend sticking with it! 

Date Posted: 2/10/2012 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Hmm...I'm willing to give Where the Wild Things Are a chance.  I don't think I could bring myself to reattempt A Heartbreaking Work any time soon, though.  Maybe in the future, though....if my TBR pile ever starts to dwindle down (haha, highly unlikely!). Maybe I just can't relate, like Pamela mentioned.

 

Edited for poor spelling.



Last Edited on: 2/10/12 11:33 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2012 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I did not like his Heartbreaking book - what an ego trip for him and he was so proud of his immaturity. Very overrated IMHO. He's just a couple of years younger than I am in age. I find it interesting that it was originally billed as a Memoir, then people he mentions in the book started contesting what he said and now it is described as "lightly fictionalized". I thought it was a load of bull when I read it. In fact it was one of the first books I swapped when I joined this site :-)

Date Posted: 2/16/2012 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
Posts: 871
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Zeitoun is much better.  He's a good writer, easier to embrace if he is writing someone else's story.

Date Posted: 2/16/2012 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
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Well, someone gave me a copy of Zeitoun and I just shelved it.  Guess I better dig it out.  I have been looking for books about Katrina.

Date Posted: 2/16/2012 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Heard about Zeitoun.  I'm willing to give it a try!  Wasn't there some controversy over the main character, though?  Something about him being abusive or something?  Maybe I'm confusing this book with another.  Anyway - thanks for the recommendation!

Date Posted: 2/18/2012 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
Posts: 871
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Wasn't there some controversy over the main character, though?

Not that I've heard.  Not at all abusive.  

He is muslim, born in Syria, American citizen, son of a fisherman, his wife is a divorced muslim convert, he owned a New Orleans painting business and some rental property.  He adopted the rainbow as his company logo.  He thought it was like all the paint colors.  He unwittingly became the painter of choice for the gay community.  He stayed to care for his and his clients properties.  Very tolerant.

Date Posted: 2/18/2012 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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I did not llove Zeitoun, but I did learn a lot by reading it.

But I adore What is the What.  For some reason, that book really moved me.

Date Posted: 2/18/2012 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2011
Posts: 6,260
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A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genuis - I couldn't read that.