[]
[]

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Eggers, Dave (Book - 2001 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius


Item Details

From the Publisher: Well, this was when Bill was sighing a lot. He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any more fighting between what was left of us. He was twenty-four, Beth was twenty-three, I was twenty-one, Toph was eight, and all of us were so tried already, from that winter. So when something world come up, any little thing, some bill to pay or decision to make, he would just sigh, his eyes tired, his mouth in a sorry kind of smile. But Beth and I-Jesus, we were fighting with everyone, anyone, each other, with strangers at bars, anywhere-we were angry people wanting to exact revenge. We came to California and we wanted everything, would take what was ours, anything within reach. And I decided that little Toph and I, he with his backward hat and long hair, living together in our little house in Berkeley, would be world-destroyers. We inherited each other and, we felt, a responsibility to reinvent everything, to scoff and re-create and drive fast while singing loudly and pounding the windows. It was a hopeless sort of exhilaration, a kind of arrogance born of fatalism, I guess, of the feeling that if you could lose a couple of parents in a month, then basically anything could happen, at any time-all bullets bear your name, all cars are there to crush you, any balcony could give way; more disaster seemed only logical. And then, as in Dorothy's dream, all these people I grew up with were there, too, some of them orphans also, most but not all of us believing that what we had been given was extraordinary, that it was time to tear or break down, ruin, remake, take and devour. This was San Francisco, you know, and everyone had some dumb idea-I mean, wicca?-and no one there would tell you yours was doomed. Thus the public nudity, and this ridiculous magazine, and the Real World tryout, all this need, most of it disguised by sneering, but all driven by a hyper-awareness of this window, I guess, a few years when your muscles are taut, coiled up and vibrating. But what to do with the energy? I mean, when we drive, Toph and I, and we drive past people, standing on top of all these hills, part of me wants to stop the car and turn up the radio and have us all dance in formation, and part of me wants to run them all over.
Authors: Eggers, Dave
Statement of Responsibility: by Dave Eggers
Title: A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Publisher: New York :, Vintage Books,, 2001, c2000
Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed
Characteristics: xlv, 437 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
More » MARC Display»

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

Report This Dec 11, 2013
  • 23305010727556 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I had to read this book for school. While the review that the teacher gave us was all positive, when I started reading it, I was ... underwhelmed, to say the least. The first chapter, nothing happens. The author, at the beginning of the novel, even suggested that some might want to skip to the middle, which is what I did. Then, things began (only a little) to get more interesting, so that was fun, but it still was definitely not a book that is one of those you can't put down. Maybe I'm not analytical enough, but it seems like it's a very simple memoir of the author's childhood, and that is it. Sure, there's lots of humor in it, but not enough to make me want to read it. Flat and simple and plain. As a metaphor, To Kill A Mockingbird is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while this is half a piece of bread, plain and simple. I rated it 3 stars because while I didn't like it, I did finish it, so it can't be that bad.

I read the reviews and found that this book is proably too esoteric for me.

Report This Aug 24, 2012
  • browncnd99 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I love Dave Eggers work but I did not enjoy this collection of short stories at all! That being said, short stories aren't my favorite format. I pushed through to the end hoping I'd 'get it' but I didn't :)

Report This Nov 20, 2011
  • ownedbydoxies rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I've read this book several times - I love it, and I don't say that lightly! This book is so different, so unique and thoughtful and outright hilarious, it's impossible to categorize. It might be too much for some readers - but don't let that stop you from giving it a try. I even went out and bought it after the first reading. It's my go-to book for when I need something to read and don't have anything worthwhile on the go at the time.

Report This Oct 01, 2011
  • vcc rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I still can't believe that such a pompous person even got published! His story is whiny, and really not too original. I give him a "one" for the time it must have taken him to write such drivel. (May 2000)

Report This Mar 21, 2011
  • AJ_in_CoMo rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I am pretty confused about this one. Generally, I feel it was a waste of time. However, I know that some of its imagery will be staying with me. And something made me read it to the end, despite my thinking the whole way through, "This is not an enjoyable book."

Report This Feb 15, 2011
  • daymakerdave rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book started off great, but by half way through I really couldn't care less what happened. I grudgingly pushed through to the end and was quite disappointed.

This book started out great. I couldn't put it down... until about half way through where it takes a boring backslide into apathy. By the end I just didn't care about the characters anymore or what might become of them. If this book would have ended at the mid point I would have loved it but alas I read it cover to cover in hopes that it would improve. Oh well.

Report This Dec 11, 2009
  • vickiz rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Salon magazine touts this as one of the top books of the past decade, and I have to agree. It's a quirky, heartwrenching memoir.

Report This Dec 06, 2007
  • Cabby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Finalist of the 2001 Pulitzer prize for non-fiction.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Videos

Add a Video

There are no videos for this title yet.

Find it at NYPL

  Loading...

Other Formats

Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Eggers, Dave
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.


I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further


Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings


  Loading...

Powered by BiblioCommons.