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A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
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A Hologram for the King (edition 2012)

by Dave Eggers (Author)

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1,378589,616 (3.4)41
"In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great"--Publisher.
Member:hanina2
Title:A Hologram for the King
Authors:Dave Eggers (Author)
Info:McSweeney's (2012), Edition: 1st, 328 pages
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A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers

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» See also 41 mentions

English (56)  Dutch (2)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
I truly wanted to enjoy A Hologram For the King; I had high expectations. The book is beautiful to behold, and the title itself is a bit titilating - Yay! There's going to be a Hologram! And a King! Plus, it's Dave Eggers, for chrissake. And I love Dave Eggers, don't I?

But this story of a bland white male who, while in Saudi Arabia trying to lift himself and his family from the jaws of bankruptcy, who does little but drink in his hotel room, letting down his hotshot IT team, letting down his daughter, letting down the other women who might love him. He's letting me down too.

And where's the Saudi Arabia in this novel? LET ME OUT OF YOUR HOTEL ROOM ALAN CLAY! And these other characters - the young hotshots that Alan is purportedly leading in this venture - are mere sketches of their possible selves. The only interesting character is Yousef, Clay's cab driver, who spent a year of college in Alabama and who checks his car's wiring for explosives each day, in fear that someone is trying to kill him.

I think I love the idea of Dave Eggers. I certainly love his work with McSweeney's, 826 Valencia, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading series. I loved What is the What, but largely for its historical and social content. So perhaps I love Dave Eggers as an activist; perhaps I love him as a leader of social reform; and perhaps I need to stop expecting so much from his novels. ( )
  markflanagan | Jul 13, 2020 |
I’m not sure what’s happened to Dave Eggers lately but I’m not complaining. The last two novels I’ve read by him have been astonishingly readable compared to his old stuff. There is a lot of light and space in this where previously there would have been a lot of wordy paragraphs. This was a fascinating look at Saudi Arabia - the idiosyncrasies of business practice there, the oppressive heat, the people who live there, the attitudes to alcohol, everything right down to the muslim and non-muslim lanes on the highway to Mecca. Either rigorously researched or magnificently made up. The chances of me ever going there to check which it is are vanishingly small. The trials and tribulations of the central character Alan drive the narrative along, but it is the depiction of his surroundings that will stay with me. ( )
  jayne_charles | Jun 6, 2019 |
It flowed alright, but in the end I was left feeling a little cheated. It might have made a good short story, but it was too long for the payoff and the ride just wasn't enjoyable enough. ( )
  ZephyrusW | Jun 1, 2019 |
I liked the writing, not too much the plot. Anyway I read it in less than 24h ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
I am wary of Dave Eggers. I feel like everything he writes needs to give me the same type of exhilaration that A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius did. Unfortunately, that hasn't always been the case. I've never been exhilarated, per se, by another of his works. However, they are all solid and worthwhile reads. This one is his best in a while. It was modern, mysterious, and mildly reminiscent of The Castle, by Kafka (except I didn't want to throw this book across the room like I did to that one.) A modern parable is what the NYT called it, and I would totally agree. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
The saving grace is that Eggers' subject is so timely and important, and the way he dramatises it so apt and amusing. [...] Eggers is good at conveying the hallucinatory, weightless feeling of expatriate life in the Gulf states: the featureless hotels that "could have been in Arizona, in Orlando, anywhere"; the wild parties in closed-off diplomatic compounds; the huge structures thrown up by oil wealth in the middle of nowhere.
added by DieterBoehm | editThe Guardian, Theo Tait (Jan 30, 2013)
 
A diverting, well-written novel about a middle-aged American dreamer, joined to a critique of how the American dream has been subverted by outsourcing our know-how and manufacturing to third-world nations. That last is certainly a distinctly contemporary touch. However, as for Alan himself: We’ve seen him and his brothers before, in William Dean Howells’s “The Rise of Silas Lapham,” in Theodore Dreiser’s “The Financier” and Sinclair Lewis’s “Babbitt,” in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” and John Updike’s Rabbit novels. In literature, if not in life, middle-aged businessmen seldom find happiness.
 
Dave Eggers hat einen ebenso vergnüglichen wie gescheiten Roman über den Aberwitz der Globalisierung geschrieben.
 
In the New York Times Book Review, Pico Iyer called the novel “[a] supremely readable parable of America in the global economy that is haunting, beautifully shaped and sad ... With ferocious energy and versatility, [Eggers] has been studying how the world is remaking America ... Eggers has developed an exceptional gift for opening up the lives of others so as to offer the story of globalism as it develops and, simultaneously, to unfold a much more archetypal tale of struggle and loneliness and drift.”
 
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Epigraph
It's not every day that we are needed.
- Samuel Beckett
Dedication
For Daniel McSweeney, Ron Hadley,
and Paul Vida, great men all
First words
Alan Clay woke up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was May 30, 2010. He had spent two days on planes to get there.
Quotations
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Er zou een tijd komen waarin de wereld mensen voortbracht die sterker waren dan zij. [..] Maar tot die tijd zouden er vrouwen en mannen zijn zoals Hanne en Alan, onvolmaakt en zonderde weg naar de volmaaktheid te kennen.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great"--Publisher.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0241145872, 0241965152

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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