A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, 2007 - Families - 437 pages
3921 Reviews
‚e~Heartbreaking? Certainly. Staggering? Yes, I‚e(tm)d say so. And if genius is capturing the universal in a fresh and memorable way, call it that too‚e(tm) Anthony Quinn, Sunday Times ‚e~Is this how all orphans would speak ‚e" ‚eoeI am at once pitiful and monstrous, I know‚e ‚e" if they had Dave Eggers‚e(tm)s prodigious linguistic gifts? For he does write wonderfully, and this is an extremely impressive debut‚e(tm) John Banville, Irish Times ‚e~A virtuosic piece of writing, a big, daring, manic-depressive stew of a book that noisily announces the debut of a talented ‚e" yes, staggeringly talented ‚e" new writer‚e(tm) ‚e" Michiko Kakutani, New York Times ‚e~Exhilarating . . . Profoundly moving, occasionally angry and often hilarious . . . A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly‚e(tm) ‚e" New York Times Book Review ‚e~What is really shocking and exciting is the book‚e(tm)s sheer rage. AHWOSG is truly ferocious, like any work of genius. Eggers ‚e" self-reliant, transcendent, expansive ‚e" is Emerson‚e(tm)s ideal Young American. [The book] does itself justice: it is a settling of accounts. And it is almost too good to be believed‚e(tm) ‚e" London Review of Books ‚e~A hilarious book . . . In it, literary gamesmanship and self-consciousness are trained on life‚e(tm)s most unendurable experience, used to examine a memory too scorching to stare at, as one views an eclipse by projecting sunlight onto paper through a pinhole‚e(tm) ‚e" Time ‚e~Eggers evokes the terrible beauty of youth like a young Bob Dylan, frothing with furious anger . . . He takes us close, shows us as much as he can bear . . . His book is a comic and moving witness that transcends and transgresses formal boundaries‚e(tm) ‚e" Washington Post

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
761
4 stars
934
3 stars
982
2 stars
728
1 star
516

Review: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

User Review  - Nathan - Goodreads

3.5 Some parts of this were pieces of brilliant writing, and most of those greatest sections were when he was critiquing himself. There were occasional moments when I was annoyed by the style but much ... Read full review

Review: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

User Review  - Colin Ennis - Goodreads

This book is not conventional. This book is not meant to be a traditional memoir, inflated as it is with rambling prose and unconcerned as it is with the interest of the reader. A lot of people seem ... Read full review

All 5 reviews »

Other editions - View all

About the author (2007)

Dave Eggers is the founder of McSweeney‚e(tm)s, a quarterly journal and website (www.mcsweeneys.net), and his books include You Shall Know Our Velocity, How We Are Hungry, Short Short Stories, and What is the What. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and Ocean Navigator. He is the recipient of the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was a 2001 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Northern California.

Bibliographic information