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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Eggers, Dave

(Book - 2001)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
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A 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 hearfelt story of the love that holds a family together.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2001
Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed
ISBN: 9780375725784
0375725784
Branch Call Number: B-Eg33h 2001
Characteristics: xvii, 437, 48 p. ;,21 cm

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Eggers was a senior in college when he lost both his parents to cancer and then took on the upbringing of his 8-year-old brother. It's both a funny and wonderfully warm-hearted story about family bonds.

This is one of the earliest memoirs I read so it will always hold a special place in my reading heart. Eggers was a senior in college when he lost both his parents to cancer and then took on the upbringing of his 8-year-old brother. It's both a funny and wonderfully warm-hearted story about famil... Read More »

Comment by: multcolib_central 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 ... Read More »

A 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.


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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?

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.

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.

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.

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