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How We Are Hungry: Stories Hardcover – October 26, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
In this collection, Eggers examines various people who try to escape their difficulties, whether climbing mountains or roaming through rural Scotland. These people may be searching for love, for glory, for release, a burst of adrenaline in the desert, or for just a fling by the beach -- however, their problems and pasts will not go away.
Eggers does occasionally dip into gimmickry, such as "There Are Some Things He Should Keep to Himself." Don't expect much -- it's a few blank pages, which made me smile. But I feel a little cheated. He's at his best when he's unconsciously quirky, such as a cute conversation between God and the ocean in one short story.
Eggers has done well in his past novel and memoir, but some of the themes of "How We Are Hungry" feel worn -- this man has a unique writing talent, but writers have to grow, and this writing doesn't show his mind or soul growing. The themes have not changed, and that lack of movement and growth makes it feel like he's just... stuck.
That said, Eggers' writing is genuinely compelling and rich; in his rambly way, he's incredibly eloquent. His descriptions have a raw energy that can take your breath away, such as riding a horse in the desert. At the same time, he can wrap his characters in so much finely-drawn misery that it is difficult to not be moved by them.Read more ›
This, his third book, a collection of short stories, reads more like a collection of ideas that never grew up to be bigger. Some, only a page or two long, never even made it to short-storyhood. His writing is fantastic, but I felt like, for most of the stories, I was reading about him or someone he knows. The characters are interesting, but all tend to act and sound the same. His stories have a bit of desperate sadness to them, but they never really go anywhere. Sometimes this is nice. Other times it would be nice to go somewhere with these interesting people. I was a little disappointed that my favorite story in the book is one I read years ago in a short story anthology. It's a great story told from the point of view of a dog. Perhaps I'm being unfair to expect to be blown away by everything Eggar's writes, but there are so many fantastic lines, brilliant descriptions and details laced throughout his stories that I want the stories themselves to be as good.
of 2003 because the sentences were Nabokovian. Who knew surfing could be
described with sentences that make you want to cry? But reading this
collection I see that Dave Eggers is up to more than pretty sentences. His
stories are timely and, many of them, allegorical. They resemble George
Saunders's work in that they, too, create a mirror that reflects our human
condition and political situation more clearly than we were able to see it
In "How We Are Hungry" Eggers makes us laugh, cry and hungry for his next book, article or world changing speech. But I found myself laughing more than I did crying when I read Hungry. It is true that some of the well crafted stories in this book touch at the sensitive points of global inequities. The story about climbing Kilimanjaro is nothing more than an allegory of Western progress resting on the back of Thrid-world labor.
But somewhere between the really well thought out stories in Hungry -- all either underscoring some moral flaw in the fabric of Western Culture or pinching some poignant nerve -- I found myself laughing at Dave's easily recognizable sense of humor. And this is why Eggers scores a four instead of five in my rating.
There appears to be an appearance of laziness or sloppyness in the preparation of his latest book. It must be considered that he was probably being inventive with the short shorts and the story that is not a story at all but just notes for a story. But I would say that there are about five really good stories in this book and the rest of the stories are Eggers exercising his wit in new ways or making us laugh in his old ways.
In short, Eggers succeeds in How We Are Hungry, but not in a staggering way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liked the stories' variety, and identified with several. But found it hard to see the overall intent. Recommend for a Dave Eggers enthusiastPublished 17 months ago by Ben
I enjoyed it. Simple, relate-able reading that was recommended to me by a friend.Published 19 months ago by DARCY BARLOW
If you like short stories, this is the holy grail.
I loved A Heatbreaking Work of Staggering Genius but to be honest, I like How We Are Hungry more. Read more
I became a Dave Eggers fan after reading his "Hologram for a King" novel last year. I thought it was the perfect combination of funny and cringe-worthy. Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by Joseph Landes
Everything eggers writes blows my mind and this was no different. Each story has a way of reaching into the soul.Published on August 4, 2013 by zach
I was glad to see Hand return in this collection--my first exposure to him was through You Shall Know Our Velocity (Vintage). Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by Patrick Garrett York
This was a selection for our book club and most of us found one or two stories that we could really relate to, and others that seemed way above our heads. Read morePublished on May 13, 2013 by kkristl
I've read and liked other work by Dave Eggars, so I was thrilled when I found this book at a library sale. Read morePublished on September 3, 2012 by Avid Reader
My boyfriend gave me this book to keep me occupied while he was cleaning our boat. It's foul--a total man's collection! But it's great, steeping with hilarity. I love it. Read morePublished on July 19, 2011 by Alexandra