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U zult versteld staan van onze…

U zult versteld staan van onze beweeglijkheid (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Dave Eggers, Dirk-Jan Arensman (Translator)

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1,273156,194 (3.6)14
Title:U zult versteld staan van onze beweeglijkheid
Authors:Dave Eggers (Author)
Other authors:Dirk-Jan Arensman (Translator)
Info:Vassallucci (2002), Amsterdam, Hardcover, 399p.
Collections:Your library, eBooks, To read, Buy and Get 2011, Unread, Readable

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You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers (2002)

Recently added byMike_O, private library, thebigidea, blueberry-tea, rainerc, EtonicQuasar, CaraP, mstea, clubrob
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    claudiamesc: I racconti sono più... precisi, meno ripetitivi del romanzo, che comunque mi è sembrato molto divertente, e originale.

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My brain is still lolling around trying to know what to make of this book. The only other time I have come away from a book and been puzzled about how I feel happened with DBC Pierre`s book Vernon God Little.

In You Shall Know Our Velocity, there were moments of brilliance and also moments of mediocrity, moments I laughed out loud and moments I cringed. The style is certainly original but possibly to the detriment of the overall work.

Personally, I hold Eggers and the rest of the McSweeney`s (or this group of 30 something New York literati) posse - Vendela Vida, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, Claire Messud, Jonathan Lethem - in some sort of awesome esteeem and want to love everything they produce. They are an interesting and interested group of people.

I am going to ponder some more and update later. ( )
  Booktrovert | Apr 2, 2013 |
Will, burdened with a large inheritance, sets off round the world with his friend Hand with the aim of giving it away. Aside from the rather odd plot, the relationship between the two friends and their absurd activities make it a good read. ( )
  presto | Apr 24, 2012 |
This book is mindblowingly brilliant. It manages to go beyond being a book and brings the story into the real world, almost as a piece of performance art. I can't say more about that without giving any spoilers, but I will say the best way to read it is to read the first edition, wait until you would go back to reread as with any other book, but read the second edition instead.

Regardless of which you read, the episodes are touching, funny and horrifying by turns. The characters are wonderfully rendered and the structure (travel accounts alternating with flashback sequences) will never leave you bored.
  sholt2001 | Jun 28, 2010 |
I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit "Catcher in the Rye goes on Holiday" and now that I've seen Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited 3 or 4 years later, I'd say they are similar in tone. ( )
  jentifer | Aug 15, 2009 |
If you are not yet desensitised, by visual and audio entertainment, to the value of humour in prose narrative, this book will be hilarious. As for me, Velocity was strikingly amusing rather than outright hilarious. There is the occasional picture as well, which serves to compliment the humour. Most of the humour that exists in this book is based around the characters’ strange motivations, which are completely arbitrary and whimsical. Deciding to swing from tree to tree in a Latvian forest is but one strange example.

The characters are in no way stereotypical and neither is the strange plot. Two guys in their late twenties lose a close friend, come into a great deal of money and decide to embark on a week long journey around the world depositing money into the hands of strangers. What follows is a number of strange encounters with many different cultures where social conventions are arbitrarily abandoned and the reader instantly questions the sanity of the two main characters.

A story about Will’s mental struggles and Hand’s social extravagances, Velocity may bring to mind experiences you have had. Much of the dialogue goes on within Will’s head as he struggles to come to terms with his position in the world. This forces the reader to relate to, or at least attempt to understand, Will’s strange motivations to travel the world handing out money he believes he doesn’t deserve.

Eggers’ style is provocative and unconventional, bumpy and always inviting the reader to wonder what on earth he is on about, only to explain 10 or 15 pages later. He employs the bunch-of-words-strung-together-to-make-a-new-word style that is characteristic of the contemporary American authors I have read, which gives the impression that he has a limited vocabulary and annoys me but is a minor detail that has not prevented me from enjoying this whacky tale.

All in all, Velocity is like nothing I have ever read before – which is both good and bad. It is good because it kept me wanting to find out what would happen next. It was bad because some of the ideas within were extremely abstract. I don’t mind abstract but sometimes Eggers went too far. But don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself.

This review was originally published in On Dit, the student newspaper of Adelaide University. ( )
3 vote RyanPaine | Aug 22, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dave Eggersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arensman, Dirk-JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to Beth.
First words
I was talking to Hand, one of my two best friends, the one still alive, and we were planning to leave.
Anyway, I read news and look for and collect facts because so far they haven't added up anything. I had pictured, as a younger man, that the things I knew and would know were bricks in something that would, effortlessly, eventually, shape itself into something recognizable, meaningful. A massive and spiritual sort of geometry - a ziggurat, a pyramid. But here I am now, so many years on, and if there is a shape to all this, it hasn't revealed itself. But no, thus far the things I know grow out, not up, and what might connect all these things, connective tissues or synapses, or just some sense of order, doesn't exist, or isn't functioning, and what I knew at twenty-seven can't be found now.
To travel is selfish -- that money could be used for hungry stomachs and you're using it for your hungry eyes, and the needs of the former must trump the latter, right? And are there individual needs? How much disbelief, collectively, must be suspended, to allow for tourism?"
Her English was seamless. Everyone’s was. I had sixty words of Spanish and Hand had maybe twice that in French, and that was it. How had this happened? Everyone in the world knew more than us, about everything, and this I hated then found hugely comforting.
So I have advice for you guys. I don't want you to actually use it. I just want you to hear it, have it, sometime after the fact--after it's useful. Don't listen to me. Advice so rarely finds its intended audience. It's like the sword in the stone--you leave it there, maybe someday someone finds it useful. Sorry, people--we're driving through Latvia and I can't vouch for my state of mind. 1. Thoughts are made of water and water always finds a way. 2. If you can't dodge the water, run. 3. There are bears and there are small dogs. Be strong like a bear! If they take out your teeth, sit on the dogs. Bears always forget they can just sit on the dogs. Sit on the dogs! 4. If your house is haunted bring in your friends and start tearing the walls down. How can they haunt a house that you take apart? Aha!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Don't confuse this work with the revised and expanded version entitled "Sacrament" which was issued by Vintage with the title "You Shall Know Our Velocity!" - Note the added explanation point at the end.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0241142288, Hardcover)

Will and Hand, two young Americans, decide to travel around the world handing over large amounts of money to those who need it. This trip will, they hope, be an answer to the overwhelming grief they feel after their friend's death. But, as they soon find out, nothing is quite so simple.

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

(see all 4 descriptions)

After acquiring $32,000, Will and Hand, devastated over the death of their closest friend, travel around the world giving away the money.

(summary from another edition)

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