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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

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  • Hardcover, Simon & Schuster, 2000


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    Due Dec 21 $19.00
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    List price: $24.00
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    Condition:
    Good

    Ships from:
    UT, USA

    Description: Good. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 416 p.

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Reviews of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Overall customer rating: 3.000
aisling

A Work of Heartbreaking Self-Indulgence

by aisling on Feb 1, 2011

(I?m sure other reviewers out there have come up with much more cleverly insulting re-workings of the title, which lends itself to cleverly insulting re-workings, but I just don?t have their flair.) I hated this book so much I wished it was sentient so I could do it physical harm. This would have been an acceptable substitute for doing Dave Eggars physical harm. I wish I could give it zero--or negative--stars. But I guess 1 will have to suffice. I just don't understand how a book with this basic plot--a young man who loses his parents and must care for his young brother--can be so nauseatingly awful. This is truly Eggars' greatest achievement. I came away from [what I read of] the book with the unshakable feeling that Eggars only did about 99% of what he wrote about having done so that he could write about having done it and have it be true, so he could say it was true. I think what got me the most, besides the mind-numbing descriptions of Eggars' magazine "work," was his painfully affected attitude of cluelessness about parenting. No matter how little experience you have, I'm pretty sure you could figure out that calling your pre-teen brother a "retard" and using frequent, R-rated swears aren't good tactics. Probably your mom impressed that upon you before she died. All I have left to say of this book and Eggars' "talent" is, thank God your parents are dead so they were spared the embarrassment of sharing your last name, and I understand why your sister committed suicide.

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Ellyb

A classic.

by Ellyb on Mar 17, 2008

This memoir sings. I really cannot say enough wonderful things about it. It is angry, and hopeful, and joyful, and hilarious, and touching, and wonderfully alive. I pretty much couldn't put it down. Who cares abut writerly skill and pacing and characterization, even if all these elements are solid and well deserving of the critical acclaim it has received? This book is about a gut response, not an intellectual one. Go read it.

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