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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A Hologram for the King

At this point, I figure you are either paying attention to Dave Eggers or you've specifically chosen to NOT pay attention to him. That's fine, to each his own. Frankly, I'm always interested in anything he does because he has such a great restless intellectual spirit and that's one of my favorite characteristics of any great artist. Not content to be an influential graphic designer, enfant terrible experimental writer, non-fiction documentarian, script writer, etc, etc, this time Eggers' returns with a stripped-down, desert-sparse, quietly-funny Novel. A novel novel. Alan Clay is a middle-aged man in decline making a last ditch effort to save his financial well-being. As a result, he ends up consulting for an IT firm seeking a meeting with a Saudi King who may or may not materialize. Eggers' style is fluid and bracing--Clay reflects on his past while trying to make a future. We see Clay's ties to prosperity brought on by industrialization and his complicity in a society that seeks to maximize short-term profits at the expense of its own long-term prosperity. Of course, the secret to what makes this book work is Eggers' attention to detail and his sense of humor.

If we weren't already certain, A Hologram for the King is another major work by a major American writer.

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