Say something about yourself!
This book has wide appeal, I have no doubt. It is written in the rapid fire language of the modern sensibilities with both humor and insight. One thing that might be noteworthy is the building of tension through this superb narration: I had to read it in smaller chunks rather than listen for long periods of time, otherwise, the chaos tended to be overwhelming. It has a great sense of voice for the current generation, and a good feel for confusion that is fueled by youthful optimism, only the best kind. I'd listen to it again, though…. later, after I rest my brain a bit.
Youth and beauty conquer age and cunning.
Fortress Of Solitude meets Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close.
Any time the two brothers "got" each other.
Persistent yet patient.
Characters could be more believable?
You can't write a book like this without JD Salinger. You also can't get the genius of George Saunders without this work. So as a bridge connecting Tenth of December to The Catcher in the Rye, I am very grateful for its existence. As for its own merit, it was honest and rambly and self-pitying and desperate and depressing and irritating -- with what ended up to be very little heart. Or at least it didn't translate into heart for me. Being disgruntled with life and the lemon-throwing machine it can be only transcends it if the characters can overcome and grow from how they handle the challenges.
This book was tough to listen to. While I can appreciate the "staggering genius" it took to write it, I also found the subject matter depressing and the constant tangents and stream-of-consciousness tiring, especially in audiobook format. The narrator does a great (if sometimes overly enthusiastic) job of reading, but the constant jumping from one idea or moment to the next made me often lose focus and have to rewind. That being said, it was an interesting read, and had some beautiful, touching moments.
I have to disagree with everyone who slagged off the reader - i thought he did a great job. Unfortunately I wasn't very interested in the book itself, no matter who was reading it. Funnily enough, I loved the preface (which is at the end...) but the rest of it I could take or leave. Not awful but not great either.
The way D. Eggers tell his story is very interesting and detailed. He goes back and forth, always between telling what's happening and describing who he is with or how he feels. The narrator is incredible. Fantastic performance.
Teenagers, maybe young adults.
Stayed focused. Made Christophers' experience more believable.
I feel badly that this is a true story, heartbreaking is right. But I just don't believe the interplay between brothers.
Most of the reviewers who focus on the reader's skillful, or annoying, dramatized delivery; or on the supposedly depressing nature of the author's parents' untimely illness and death, seem to be missing the point. I think the reader actually did a fairly serviceable job of rendering a text that suffers from interminable logorrhea (compulsive verbalizing), as if the author assumes we should all be fascinated by endless minutiae of often minor value or significance. It's presumably a comic memoir, but I laughed out loud exactly once (at the reference to "Toph's Law"). The most promising set-piece, an extended audition interview for MTV's "Real Life" show, turns out to be a cleverly invented stratagem for conflating stories about the family's life in Lake Forest. But so many of the stories elsewhere wander off into irrelevance or sheer desperation. You have to admire Eggers's stamina in unspooling the endless details and contortions, and the occasional actually heartbreaking moments; but you end up wishing this were a print book and you could scan ahead to get to something of real interest. I love his extreme self-deprecating (one is tempted to say self-defecating) humor, and the occasional glistening gem of a description. But in the end I felt like I got to know very little about Toph himself. And I kept feeling like a passenger on a long train ride, trapped next to someone whom you soon realize is just speed-rapping you.
I believe this book needs to be read instead of heard, at least if Dion Graham is the reader. Ugh. It was awful. I found myself so distracted by his over dramatizing of the emotions that I couldn't enjoy the book at all. Sad, because I like Dave Eggers.
This may indeed be a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, but I couldn't stand the hyped-up, out-of-breath way the narrator read every word. I had to stop listening. I imagine I would have liked it better in print. As the other reviewer mentioned, though, it is rather depressing.