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
“Not just for the MTV-fan age group, this is a very entertaining, well-written book.” (Booklist)
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.
I read reviews complaining about the narrator, and I ignored them. I made a huge mistake. This is a wonderful book, but its ruined by the audio version. The narrator reads it like a hyper dramatic prose in a speech tournament, and I'm overwhelmingly confident fails to capture the essence of the writing. With every hour I listened, it grated on me more. Seriously, if I could get my money back I would do it. I am patient with audio readings, but this guy was TERRIBLE. If you are interested in Eggers, just read his work.
I would definitely try another book by Dave Eggers; just not an audiobook if narrated again by Dion Graham.
Dave Egger's writing style is unique and inspired-- he shifts gears, sometimes even mid-sentence, yet keeps your attention.
I've read some of his other stuff and started reading the first couple chapters of this book years ago before getting sidetracked, I was excited to hear the audiobook version. After this awful narration, I'm going to pull the book off the shelf and actually read it...
His over the top, out of breath style drove me batty. I had to turn it off for a while a few times, because the constant gasping etc. was such a distraction. He ruined it for me.
The only anger I felt was with the narrator. It was a very sad story, but with the energy and ambition of youth woven into it, there was a lot going on there -- the story could go anywhere.
I'm getting hooked on Audible audiobooks, but this awful performance by Dion Graham, reminded me that sometimes books should just be read.
The main reason I want to review this book is the narrator of the audio. This guy completely takes away from the story by being overly expressive. I can see how this could be preferred, and I just noticed a review that praised him, but I am so annoyed by his expressions and exaggerations in this fairly life-like dramatic book. It's a literary piece, not a comedy show. I want some ability to imagine expressions and the dynamic. It feels really fast paced this way, and completely different from what I would imagine with a more traditional audio narrative. It's just not an enjoyable audio. Book is great otherwise. Just get it in a different format, if you can.
Great book, but this is to express frustrations with the narrator. Completely took away all the beauty that was in it and turned it into an entertainment piece, which is not what I wanted from a novel, especially not a novel with this theme. I have Netflix for that.
I can't say who would enjoy this... The narrator's delivery is so distracting
The lack of an interesting, fast paced story.
Narrator over emotes, he speaks too fast and is much too animated.
Not from Dave Eggers, perhaps from Dion Graham. I get that Dave Eggers was being vulnerable by sharing his deep fears and grandiose hopeful imaginings I just found the long lists of fears or hopes or arrogant views very tiring and unengaging. Perhaps this is a book for the 20 somethings and not me almost 40 years their senior.
I am aware of some of the ways that Dave Eggers has used his fame and money to assist others and applaud that. in fact I have gratitude for he and others who are doing everything they can to make a positive difference for people in this world I still won't purchase, read or listen to anything else by Dave Eggers.
The whole long drawn out interview for the reality TV show.
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