A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS by Dave Eggers
Place of Purchase: BarnesandNoble.com
Reading Began: April 2003
Completed Reading: May 2003
Overall rating: Four out of ten
Recommendation to others: This isn’t the “brilliant work” that critics touted, so be wary of this book. If you fully understand what you’ll be reading, and that it isn’t as profound as you might be led to believe, then you just might enjoy it. I didn’t, although I was compelled to complete it, so there was at least a curiosity that held me.
Why I chose to read this book: I remembered hearing much acclaim about this book since its publication several years ago, and then I saw Dave Eggers on an episode of Dinner For Five with Jon Favreau. He seemed interesting enough, so I gave it a try.
Further reading by this author: I was so thoroughly unimpressed that I have no plans to read anything further by Eggers. But perhaps someone will convince me otherwise.
Comments: I must have expected to be very impressed, so I was disappointed in this book. I kept plugging along through the pages thinking it would get better at some point, that it would finally captivate me and I’d be mesmerized. This never happened, so when I finally found myself nearing the end, I wondered why I’d even held on for so long. Of course, being more than halfway finished, I felt it only fair to give Eggers the benefit of the doubt and see it through. I’ve always wished I’d just tossed it aside. I wasn’t bored, exactly, but I wasn’t impressed either. And the pervasive profanity was grating by the end. I found myself quite uncomfortable during several parts of the book, and really should have just stopped reading. In that respect, it’s like the proverbial train wreck; I just couldn’t walk away from it.
In the end, I felt it necessary to get rid of this book. I couldn’t think of one person I’d want to share it with, and I won’t recommend it to anyone; without a need to have it in my personal library, I ended up selling it to Half Price Books. Maybe someone with different standards will buy it and see the “excellence” that escaped me.