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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

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1,094537,599 (3.4)35
Member:living2read
Title:A Hologram for the King
Authors:Dave Eggers
Info:McSweeney's (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 328 pages
Collections:Your library
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A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers (Author)

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» See also 35 mentions

English (51)  Dutch (2)  All (53)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
I didn't bond to the "Waiting For Godot"-like premise or the dilapidated characters...but it wasn't bad to read. Literary doldrums. And I don't mean that in a bad way. ( )
  poutmouthomaha | May 18, 2017 |
Death of a Salesman meets The Stranger meets Waiting for Godot -- in contemporary Saudi Arabia.
1 vote dvergin | Oct 1, 2016 |
I love Dave Eggers' work--I love his voice on the page, his humility, his approach to his novels (research, journalism, etc). And so I suppose I hold his work to a higher standard. I really enjoyed this, but I don't think it comes anywhere close to some of his other works. It's late, and I'm too tired to write more right now. Hope to come back to my review and be more coherent. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
America’s recent Great Recession, from which the economy’s “recovery” is still largely a matter of debate as seen through the eye of the individual beholder, hit the ranks of middle management particularly hard. Suddenly men and women of a certain age (generally those over 50) found themselves jobless and with little prospect of ever replacing their lost jobs with anything that paid anywhere near the wages they were accustomed to earning. Homes were lost, marriages ended, and dreams were forever shattered. Alan Clay, the main character of Dave Eggers’s A Hologram for the King, is one of those people.

The story begins this way: “Alan Clay woke up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was May 30, 2010. He had spent two days on planes to get there.”

Alan is in Jeddah to sell King Abdullah a holographic teleconference system that could prove to be instrumental in winning for his company the entire IT contract for the King’s new economic city (which at the moment exists primarily on the drawing board and in the minds of the king and his advisers). But the 54-year-old Clay, formerly a key management player in the Schwinn bicycle company when bicycles were still manufactured in the U.S., really knows and understands very little about the software he is there to peddle to the king. He is in the kingdom to introduce the presentation largely because of his previous connections to a distant cousin of the king’s. The king, however, is not a man to be rushed, and for now Alan and his team of four software experts spend their days in a large tent waiting on the man to show up for the software demonstration they hope will win them his business. And they play solitaire, and they sleep, and they wonder if the meeting will ever happen.

Alan, though, is not content to play the waiting game. He has befriended his personal driver, a young man partially educated in Alabama, and the two of them explore aspects of Saudi Arabian society that most Westerners are never allowed to glimpse, much less immerse themselves in to the degree that Alan manages to do it. But Alan wonders what happened to him – how did he end up in Saudi Arabia with his future hopes so closely linked to a product he knows so little about? What happens to him if the king is unimpressed? What happens if the king never shows up? How did it come to this?

Entertaining as it is, A Hologram for the King manages to take a long hard look at the Great Recession through the eyes of one of its typical victims, a man who is unlikely ever to recover all that the recession snatched from him. Perhaps the best that men like Alan can hope for is to recover their personal dignity and self-worth – but that is not an easy thing for an American to do in a place like Saudi Arabia. ( )
  SamSattler | Jul 1, 2016 |
I'm very grateful for this novel: the problems of white, cis, middle-age white men with personal crises simply cannot be discussed enough. Bravo for charting new territory! ( )
  ijustgetbored | Apr 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 193636574X, Hardcover)

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. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment — and a moving story of how we got here.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:49 -0400)

"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.

(summary from another edition)

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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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