September Books 10) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers

I was trying to read this book while feeling ill, and we did not really get on. I wish in retrospect that I had followed the author’s advice to read just the first four chapters (when authors tell you not to bother reading what they have written, it is often advice worth taking) and that I had waited until I was feeling better, because reading about the horrible digestive problems of Eggers’ dying mother was not really what I needed at the time. (I am feeling much improved today, thank you.)

It is not a bad book. Dave, as twenty-something narrator, finds himself looking after his much younger brother after their parents die, so he combines the lifestyle of a young Californian magazine editor with his paternal responsibilities. We are meant to take it as a non-fiction memoir with fictionalised elements, but as far as I’m concerned it’s a novel which leans more heavily than usual on personal experience. As noted above, it goes on rather too long, and my edition came with a rambling foreword which I found self-indulgent (by which I mean boring).

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1 Response to September Books 10) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers

  1. mireille21 says:

    I have no idea when/where the phrase originates from, or how long Keens Mustard has been around. Like I said, I assumed it was a play on words, in the same vein as countless other names.

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