A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Summary Ù 104

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering GeniusT 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; 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 mos. I disliked so very much about this book The grating self awareness the oh I'm so clever stream of consciousness asides the indescribably tedious discussion of his magazine work But the heart of the book the story of Eggers and his young brother trying to be each other's whole family after the death of their parents is genuinely sad and funny all at once a difficult feat to accomplish I wish he'd stuck to telling that story instead of trying so hard to make me think he's a staggering genius This book made me realize how much I resent authors playing around with style before they've proved to me that they can just tell a sory in an effective way I just want to say You're not too smart for traditional prose if say Jane Austen isn't If you have something to say say it Impress me with your grasp of language not your ability to posture

Dave Eggers » 4 Summary

'When you read his extraordinary memoir you don't laugh then cry then laugh again; you somehow experience these emotions all at once'Well this was when Bill was sighing a lot He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any 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 would 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 IJesus 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 wha. Note This review was written almost 10 years ago I would gladly delete it but it appears some people have engaged in fruitful back and forth in the comment thread I let it stand for the sake of their discussion but since every once in a while I wake up to an email informing me of how some stranger on the internet thinks I'm an asshole and as I'm also a person who can't stand the heat and would gladly get out of the kitchen if I could I'd like to add a few disclaimersThis review was written by a young woman who never dreamed than 2 or 3 people would read it Hence I was not attempting to be Northrop Frye I was being silly I entirely agree the review would be better if it attempted real concrete criticism rather than aggressive shrugging To write that review though I would have to really care about AHWOSG and I simply do not But that does not mean Eggers deserved mere snark I leave it up only to a allow people to continue their discussion and b the mere recollection of it is a source of instantaneous humilityFinally this review was the product of an incarnate imperfect person with background associations and moods trickling into their work I had a chip on my shoulder when I wrote this You could say I was sneering at someones in the review besides Eggers of course sneering is bad and one shouldn't do it at all whether on the internet or face to face As I wrote above a good and meaningful review would be far impartial specific and clear But this isn't a good and meaningful review It's a hasty sneer with perhaps some basis for its attitude but certainly not in the review as written and the author would gladly delete it save for the fact that it hosts a comment thread other people find productiveSo enjoy discussing AHWOSG on this thread but if you are awaiting a response from me on the merits of the book or to further explode in fireworks of snark I'm afraid you'll be waiting in vain The thread stays; please be polite to one another Even if snark has some ground in the truth it only encourages snark in others and no one feels good or changes their mind when they feel attacked One of my least favorite books of all time I cringed with frustration as I turned every page and I only wanted to finish it so that I could say I found nothing redeeming Oh sure he was flashy and could draw a cheap laugh but it was like admiration for bubbles it went nowhere and said nothing Henry James this is not I don't love HJ but I know talent when I see it and this is self examination for voyeuristic purposes I was disgusted with the title when I first heard of it; though I can see the attempt at self ridicule eh nope he's pretty satisfied with himself I then heard so much lovely stuff about it which worries me now in retrospect but I tried it with an open mind Nope BuddyWhy even go into the hundred reasons why it sucks since the author is such a vapid creature full of style and lacking substance the book doesn't really merit an intellectual attack Really I think it's every single thing that is wrong with certain aspects of modern literature Foster Wallace and Eggers can suck my metaphorical dick since they seem to exist for nothing else but their own pretension Way to reveal modern angst boys sorry that people a lot smarter did it better a hundred years ago and said something relevant for people who weren't self absorbed fops I look forward to a future world cataclysm in which this book can be lost and something worthwhile take its place in the literary canon Also I apologize to all the people who really sincerely love this book I know I like some things that can be deemed pretty trivial And who knows maybe the author is a nice enough guy I just I gotta say it I really can't stand this book and wish there were better books around to take away some of its appeal Art for the ego just doesn't seem enoughMy memories of the book have grown hazy and I did write my first review while living in New Orleans I think I slammed down a drink at Igors at 3 am while waving Flannery or Walker or Eudora in the air and swore that Franzen and Eggers were my metaphysical enemies and one day I would read Wittgenstein deeply enough to make seemingly profound arguments about nonsense culture consumers like Stop making literature a habit of stylistic consumption and read something and decide if it's true I remain too lazy but still I think we should read literature with an idea of the Good and how to pursue it My always reforming vision has been consistent about thinking of this not as a charming memoir but as a lazy memoir without real love or value I wish I could see what so many think they do but it remains mirror playing to me Maybe most of this is late night fighting Tara bs but I still think my absurd perspective is still concerned about what is good and lovely and true than the steady narcissism of AHWOSG

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Summary Ù 104 ä 'When you read his extraordinary memoir you don't laugh then cry then laugh again; you somehow experience these emotions all at once'Well this was when Bill was sighing a lot He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any fighting between what was lT 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 ov. I hated loved was totally frustrated by was sucked into couldn't stand couldn't put down dreaded picking up wanted to like was attacked by wanted to burn finished this bookAlternative title A Self Indulgent Work of Festering GeniusThe worst book I couldn't put down; the best book I've ever wanted to set on fireUpdated Found in my bedside reading journal it's self conscious pretentious but pretentious in the way that smart kids are when they're trying to be cool but are still riled up by grammatical slips etc — betrayed by their own proclivities