A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius

A Memoir Based on a True Story

Eggers, Dave

eBook - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius
"Exhilarating….Profoundly moving, occasionally angry, and often hilarious….A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly" (The New York Times Book Review).

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. Here is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together. “A virtuosic piece of writing, a big, daring, manic-depressive stew of a book that noisily announces the debut of a talented—yes, staggeringly talented new writer.” “Exhilarating…. Profoundly moving, occasionally angry and often hilarious…. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly.” “Eggers evokes the terrible beauty of youth like a young Bob Dylan, frothing with furious anger…. He takes us close, shows us as much as he can bear…. His book is a comic and moving witness that transcends and transgresses formal boundaries.” “[F]unny, wildly intelligent…. What’s consistent throughout is the full-throttle voice: the sensibility of the man who grieves his parents, who safeguards his brother, who knows that his own presence here can walk the line between ‘self-conscious’ and ‘self-devouring.” “Eggers crafts something universal here, something raw and real and wonderful that transcends any zeitgeist and manages to deal trenchantly with ‘big issues’ that often prove too daunting for younger writers: mortality, youth the artifice of writing, the Zen of Frisbee. This is a beautifully ragged, laugh-out-loud funny and utterly unforgettable book.”

ISBN: 1476737541


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Dec 18, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Yes, even the verso and the preface are inspired in this wonderful memoir by Eggers. His humourous and ironic touch lightens the heartbreaking tragedy that befalls his family but leaves us hopeful for their survival. The deep love that Dave has for his younger brother, Toph, is truly inspirational. It underlines the enduring faith in family that may get knocked around but staggers through to salvation.

Jul 11, 2014

How would you cope if you were a young indulgent hipster riddled with nervousness who's forced to witness the slow deaths of both your parents from cancer within weeks of each other and so become the DE facto caregiver to your 8 yr. old brother? Would you write a book in an original, funny and poignant voice about the experience?

May 03, 2014

Great book by a local author. Amazing story, recommend it to anyone.

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.

Mar 27, 2013

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

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 :)

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.

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)

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."

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.

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Aug 23, 2013


Aug 23, 2013

“To have lost one parent, Mr. Worthing, might be considered a misfortune. To have lost both smacks of carelessness”

Aug 23, 2013

I pick her up. We walk down to Nickie’s. It’s small, full of bodies, sweltering.


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A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius
Eggers, Dave
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