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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Eggers, Dave

150.756 valoraciones por Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0330484540 / ISBN 13: 9780330484541
Editorial: Picador, Great Britain, 2000
Condición: Fine Encuadernación de tapa dura
Librería: bluemanbooks (Ludlow, Reino Unido)

Librería en AbeBooks desde: 4 de agosto de 2009

Cantidad: 1

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Descripción

A true UK first edition / first printing, with the complete numberline 1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2 on the copyright page. A tiny amount of shelfwear. Otherwise, a very nice copy of this world-famous book, by the revered American novelist, and founder of the cult literary 'magazine' known as' McSweeney's'. We protect all our books with a removable plastic cover, and send them with care. N° de ref. de la librería 001072

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Editorial: Picador, Great Britain

Año de publicación: 2000

Encuadernación: Hard Cover

Condición del libro:Fine

Condición de la sobrecubierta: Fine

Edición: First Edition

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Sinopsis:

Dave Eggers's parents died from cancer within a month of each other when he was twenty-one and his brother, Christopher, was seven. They left the Chicago suburb where they had grown up and moved to San Francisco. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius tells the story of their life together. 'The story is at once funny, tender, annoying and, yes, heartbreaking - an epic about family and how families fracture and fragment and somehow, through all the tumult and upset, manage to endure . . . A virtuosic piece of writing, a big, daring, manic-depressive stew of a book that noisily announces the debut of a talented - yes, staggeringly talented new writer' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'Eggers is an original new voice, the real thing. When you read his extraordinary memoir you don't laugh, then cry, then laugh again; you somehow experience these emotions all at once - and powerfully' David Remnick 'The force and energy of this book could power a train' David Sedaris

Review:

Dave Eggers is a terrifically talented writer; don't hold his cleverness against him. What to make of a book called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Based on a True Story? For starters, there's a good bit of staggering genius before you even get to the true story, including a preface, a list of "Rules and Suggestions for Enjoyment of This Book," and a 20-page acknowledgements section complete with special mail-in offer, flow chart of the book's themes, and a lovely pen-and-ink drawing of a stapler (helpfully labeled "Here is a drawing of a stapler:").

But on to the true story. At the age of 22, Eggers became both an orphan and a "single mother" when his parents died within five months of one another of unrelated cancers. In the ensuing sibling division of labor, Dave is appointed unofficial guardian of his 8-year-old brother, Christopher. The two live together in semi-squalor, decaying food and sports equipment scattered about, while Eggers worries obsessively about child-welfare authorities, molesting babysitters, and his own health. His child-rearing strategy swings between making his brother's upbringing manically fun and performing bizarre developmental experiments on him. (Case in point: his idea of suitable bedtime reading is John Hersey's Hiroshima.)

The book is also, perhaps less successfully, about being young and hip and out to conquer the world (in an ironic, media-savvy, Gen-X way, naturally). In the early '90s, Eggers was one of the founders of the very funny Might Magazine, and he spends a fair amount of time here on Might, the hipster culture of San Francisco's South Park, and his own efforts to get on to MTV's Real World. This sort of thing doesn't age very well--but then, Eggers knows that. There's no criticism you can come up with that he hasn't put into A.H.W.O.S.G. already. "The book thereafter is kind of uneven," he tells us regarding the contents after page 109, and while that's true, it's still uneven in a way that is funny and heartfelt and interesting.

All this self-consciousness could have become unbearably arch. It's a testament to Eggers's skill as a writer--and to the heartbreaking particulars of his story--that it doesn't. Currently the editor of the footnote-and-marginalia-intensive journal McSweeney's (the last issue featured an entire story by David Foster Wallace printed tinily on its spine), Eggers comes from the most media-saturated generation in history--so much so that he can't feel an emotion without the sense that it's already been felt for him. What may seem like postmodern noodling is really just Eggers writing about pain in the only honest way available to him. Oddly enough, the effect is one of complete sincerity, and--especially in its concluding pages--this memoir as metafiction is affecting beyond all rational explanation. --Mary Park

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