- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Recorded Books (2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1440794146
- ISBN-13: 978-1440794148
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,244 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,406,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Unabridged Audiobook MP3 CD) MP3 CD – Audiobook, 2010
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|MP3 CD, Audiobook, 2010||
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Top Customer Reviews
Several reviewers have written of the way the book loses focus after the first section, but to me that is one of its strengths. In fiction the protagonist doesn't wander around pointlessly, especially not after a significant event like the death of a parent, but in the real world lives are untidy. As a new parent I appreciated the author's experimental attitude toward child rearing as well as his attempt to create a fascinating life for himself. The quality of the writing made his business woes, his menus, and his Frisbee obsession equally fascinating. The memoirs of a man who isn't afraid to show his own warts, but is touchingly considerate of those closest to him, this is a kind and engaging book.
And while these factors will elicit cries of how overrated the work is, I find them the fuel behind what is a darkly compelling fever dream. Eggers takes the theme of being consumed (by cancer, by being young and wanting to make a mark on the world, by the responsibility of raising a child while maintaining friendships) and exposes its results in a harsh light. And it's angry and difficult and ... well ... real.
Far different and more challenging than the back-patting, self-congratulatory, "Gee, aren't I a strong and admirable person for surviving these tribulations?" tone that fills most stories of this genre. I congratulate him on avoiding making things neat and tidy. The result is an astonishing, staggering, and, ultimately, heartbreaking work.
But it's awful. It doesn't matter whether Eggers really believes he's clever or is merely posturing as such for a lark. I'm sorry to be harsh, but if Mr. Eggers is anything in person like he is on the page, people must flee the room when they see him moving their way at a cocktail party. I can't explain why I felt compelled to finish this dull and tedious book, other than I felt it simply *had* to get better at some point. It doesn't.
Do yourself a HUGE favor: pass this one by. I wish Mr. Eggers and his family all the best, but a decent turn of phrase once in a while does not an author make. Don't believe anyone who would have you think that critics of this book simply don't 'get' it. In this case, there is no substance whatsoever and precious little in the smoke-and-mirrors department, either.
If you're looking for clever and/or funny, you'd be better off with Richard Russo's fabulous "Straight Man", Tom Perrotta's "Little Children", Katherine Dunn's "Geek Love", John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy Of Dunces" or a thousand other books I could rattle off. Really, ANY book is better than AHWOSG. It's that bad. Sorry. :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an interesting study of the author's journey to adulthood after being thrust into the role of primary caregiver to his young brother. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Lanie
Rare, self-reflective, funny, tender and indescribable. First-person narrative that is a must read. I can't believe I didn't know of Eggers before today. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Random Amazon Buyer
Interesting read. The narrative reads as if you are in a conversation with the author.Published 16 days ago by Frederick Webb
Sorry folks, I got half way through and had to quit. It was like being in a room with someone with adhd or high on weed, chattering non-stop, although it must have been quite a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ken Stofft
I'm still struggling through this book. I'm tempted to just move on to another book. I realize it is the story in the first person about his struggle with loss, and his... Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. Briggs
I haven't a clue why all the bad reviews. I greatly enjoyed this book.
This is a wonderful memoir:genuine, cleverly written, hilarious at times while shockingly tragic at... Read more
instead of a a book about parents dying and an older brother raising his younger brother, it was about the older brother trying to start a magazine. Too wordy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by michelle plomondon