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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius | [Dave Eggers]

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Dave Eggers scored a worldwide phenomenon with this memoir that topped national best-seller lists and has since become a staple for summer reading and book clubs. A compelling voice for Generation X, Eggers hererecounts his early 20s, caring for his younger brother after their parents’ unexpected deaths and his endeavors in a variety of media.
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Publisher's Summary

Dave Eggers scored a worldwide phenomenon with this memoir that topped national best-seller lists and has since become a staple for summer reading and book clubs. A compelling voice for Generation X, Eggers hererecounts his early 20s, caring for his younger brother after their parents’ unexpected deaths and his endeavors in a variety of media.

©2000 David K. Eggers (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

“Not just for the MTV-fan age group, this is a very entertaining, well-written book.” (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (354 )
5 star
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3.5 (250 )
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4.0 (247 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Dawn Amelia Courthouse, VA, United States 07-18-14
    Dawn Amelia Courthouse, VA, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Explosive chaos with humor and tenderness"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Douglasville, GA, United States 07-13-13
    Jack Douglasville, GA, United States 07-13-13 Member Since 2012

    Beanstalk, USA

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    8
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    "Ready For Ritalin"
    What made the experience of listening to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius the most enjoyable?

    Youth and beauty conquer age and cunning.


    What other book might you compare A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius to and why?

    Fortress Of Solitude meets Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any time the two brothers "got" each other.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Persistent yet patient.


    Any additional comments?

    Characters could be more believable?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nate Jackson, MS, United States 11-22-13
    Nate Jackson, MS, United States 11-22-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Bridge Between Stream of Consciousness & PoMo Lit"

    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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    phillip 03-14-15
    phillip 03-14-15
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    "Overall Awesome"

    Reader is animated and fun, he makes the entire book exciting, I couldn't take my headphones off!

    Book is deep, funny, and wildly entertaining

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Almeida Pompano Beach, FL 01-09-15
    Daniel Almeida Pompano Beach, FL 01-09-15
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    "Very interesting book"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Roseville, CA, United States 05-20-10
    Amber Roseville, CA, United States 05-20-10
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    "Breathless, nonstop chatter"

    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.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C hounslow, KS, United States 10-25-10
    C hounslow, KS, United States 10-25-10
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    "<shrug>"

    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.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurine Dabbs 08-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Very difficult style of writing"

    I had a hard time enjoying this story due to the authors writing style. it feels like Im reading a constant stream of thought with very few breaks! The narrator is exceptional at the role!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid New York, NY, United States 05-03-15
    Ingrid New York, NY, United States 05-03-15 Member Since 2015

    Eclectic physical philosopher, carbon free commuter, fitness consultant, personal trainer, non-medical nutritional counselor, yoga teacher.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Made it to the end but it was painful."

    I have too many people I cherish and respect who loved this book. Perhaps I missed something. I found it painfully insufferable. (Maybe it served me well though because now I know not to ever get that way with people.) some things were relatable, and truth be told I did like one small part in the book that made it worthwhile to me. It was the part during the Real World application interview where he talks about being seen. Alas, I listened to the preface at the end and the author, whose other books I have yet to read & will give another chance, does own the excessively self referential crazy making aspect of the book unapologetically. Perhaps reading it is different from listening to it. But if it weren't for the people in my life who recommended it so highly I wouldn't have even bothered to finish it. I hope I enjoy his others when I get around to reading them someday. I'm so biased, I finally looked up an image of the author who looks so cute... Is that another reason why I'll give him another chance? Yes, I know I shouldn't be so superficial. I am for giving thighs a second chance though. Being attractive doesn't hurt.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States 04-15-13
    Alison GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States 04-15-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enough Already."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Teenagers, maybe young adults.


    What could Dave Eggers have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Stayed focused. Made Christophers' experience more believable.


    Any additional comments?

    I feel badly that this is a true story, heartbreaking is right. But I just don't believe the interplay between brothers.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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