A Hologram for the King

A Novel

Eggers, Dave

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Hologram for the King
Baker & Taylor
A struggling American businessman travels to a rising Saudi Arabian city with the hopes of securing a contract that will earn him a commission large enough to stave off his economic woes and hold his family together.

Perseus Publishing
In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment — and a moving story of how we got here.

Publisher: San Francisco : McSweeney's Books, c2012
ISBN: 9781936365746
Branch Call Number: FIC E
Characteristics: 312 p. ; 23 cm.


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Dec 22, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Dave Eggers is always highly readable, and rewards his readers with interesting settings, rich characterization, and generally compelling stories. The plot here is rather thin, and I suspect this would have worked better as a short story, or possibly a novella. A middle-aged salesman, on the brink of economic and personal failure, relies on an extremely tenuous business connection to try to land a contract with the Saudi Arabian king for an IT company--the maker of the holograms of the title. What ensues is largely theater of the absurd, with plenty of time for soul-searching and reflection. In the hands of a lesser writer, this would have been a difficult book to write. Eggers pulls it off, but just barely.

Jul 29, 2014
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This is an entertaining and interesting novel set in the context of the American recession and decline of American manufacturing; as one character says, the US is now just tourism and shopping. The style of the writing - somewhat sparse and thin - reflects the middle-aged businessman's emptiness and loneliness. In one way, it is a "The Death of the Salesman" meets "Waiting for Godot" for the 21st century.

Jul 10, 2014
  • geezr_rdr rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Good choice for a summer read. Well written and interesting analysis of Saudi Arabia.

Dec 20, 2013
  • rswalden rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I thought the story started strong but by page 75 it started to bog down. I started losing empathy for the protagonist who is weak and a bit dim witted and eventually all interest in a story that is just plain dismal. This is not Dave Eggers best work; for that read The Circle.

Dec 05, 2013
  • Lucchesa rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

My first Eggers book & the symbolism was much too heavy-handed for me. The American middle class is an impotent middle-aged guy waiting in a tent in a desert to sell a phantom product while worrying about selling his house & putting his kid through college. In places the writing sparkles, but I just didn't care about the protagonist nor understand why attractive women were throwing themselves at him.

Oct 22, 2013
  • jtkretzschmar rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book scored incredibly low on not only goodreads.com, but also my libraries user-based rating system. Truly, I thought it was excellent. For the first hundred pages or so I thought it was annoying that the story was about a WASP man in Saudi Arabia who couldn't catch a break, but I realized quickly it was about globalization and capitalism, the downfalls of many nations. In short, I loved it.

Jun 03, 2013
  • pauljsecrest rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Haven't finished it yet, but intriguing enough to keep the pages turning. All the middle-aged white guy ennui can get exhausting, but great setting and very well written.

May 20, 2013
  • pcbarone rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

An satisfying novel following an affable middle aged entrepreneur quietly battling his constantly evolving world. In staying true to his convictions, he ultimately prevails in finding true purpose and contentment. Mr. Eggers presents an authentic and compelling view of the new global economy world.

Mar 04, 2013
  • mexicanadiense rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Marvellous little book that documents the material and spiritual decline of 20th American business, and businessmen, and how it all ties in to a global marketplace which makes for the strangest of strange bedfellows. Truly a must-read.

Nov 30, 2012
  • legadillo rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Fast, entertaining read about the shift of power from the U.S. to the middle east

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A Hologram for the King
Eggers, Dave
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