A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers

This is the third time I’ve tried to write about this book: Yahoo 360 trashed the other 2 entries. I’ll keep it short.

Any book with a title this hubristic deserves to be crap. Unfortunately, it fails dismally even to be poor, and whilst not quite of staggering genius, it’s certainly lurking around the foothills of something really special. Dave’s relationship with his little brother Toph is beautifully rendered and entirely convincing, as is his (and his family’s) reaction the deaths of their mother and father 5 weeks apart, both of cancer (this resonates slightly with me – my mother and my father in law both died of cancer about 3 weeks apart. I was also lent the book on the third anniversary of my mother’s death – and I found the relevant parts of the book to be strangely comforting).

We could have done without the section covering the development of Might magazine – but in Sterne-like self-referential fashion Eggers recognises this. Not that it excuses it.

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