25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


The Powell's Playlist | August 8, 2014

Peter Mendelsund: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Water Music by Peter Mendelsund



We "see" when we read, and we "see" when we listen. There are many ways in which music can create the cross-sensory experience of this seeing...... Continue »
  1. $11.87 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$10.95
List price: $15.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
9 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

You Shall Know Our Velocity!

by

You Shall Know Our Velocity! Cover

ISBN13: 9781400033546
ISBN10: 1400033543
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Awards

A New York Times Notable Book
A Village Voice, San Jose Mercury News, and Minneapolis Star Tribune Best Book of the Year

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

After the death of a close friend, Will and Hand, thoroughly American products of the late twentieth century, decide to travel around the world to distribute — as quickly and frenetically as possible — a whole lot of money. As they maniacally purge their grief, the plot twists from surreal to moving to desperate and back again. Eggers's trademark humor, pathos, and skill are deployed in carefully crafted (if sometimes chaotic) fiction; You Shall Know Our Velocity! is some of his strongest and most ambitious work. Tessa, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

In his first novel, Dave Eggers has written a moving and hilarious tale of two friends who fly around the world trying to give away a lot of money and free themselves from a profound loss. It reminds us once again what an important, necessary talent Dave Eggers is.

Review:

"[A] headlong, heartsick and footsore first novel....[N]obody writes better than Dave Eggers about young men who aspire to be, at the same time, authentic and sincere....[A] lesser effort [than Heartbreaking], but entirely honorable and ultimately persuasive." John Leonard, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"There are some wonderful set-pieces here, and memorable phrases tossed on the ground like unwanted pennies from the guy who runs the mint." The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"[E]ntertaining and profoundly original....Eggers makes a strong argument for the arbitrary quality of wealth, and how difficult it is to redistribute it in a way that is not equally arbitrary. And though he coats this meditation on generosity in his helium-inflected humor, there is a self-reflexive sadness, too." John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"MTV's Jackass, as scripted by Samuel Beckett....The novel's grinding, at times monotonous rock and roll of plane trips and hotel rooms and (often hilarious) bickering...is punctuated by surprising, elegant lyrics....[A] messy, funny book. As always with Eggers, not least interesting is figuring out just who the joke is on." John Homans, New York Magazine

Review:

"Will and Hand?s rapport is so engaging, and it?s so good to hear Eggers' voice, that Velocity cruises along nicely for quite a while. But soon, for every funny-weird philanthropic adventure...there are tens of pages of deadening, familiar stuff....In its final pages, Velocity achieves a kind of anguished, profane poetry. It?s not heartbreaking. It?s not staggering. But if Eggers is a question, the answer is still yes." Jeff Giles, Newsweek

Review:

"[Will and Hand] treat their life like a madcap movie (Paul Bowles meets Evel Knievel!), but reading Eggers's listless prose feels more like sitting through some unhinged friend's blurry vacation photos....Eggers's novel limps along, strangely static." Joy Press, The Village Voice

Review:

"[T]hough Y.S.K.O.V. coasts only on charm for scores of pages at a stretch, at its best, it simply moves and is moving....[F]or every dead passage there's a sterling set piece, an energetic consideration of grief or joy....Despite its emotional depth and inventive structure, [the novel] does not break the heart and seems unlikely to stagger. (Grade: B)" Troy Patterson, Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Eggers' strengths as a writer are real....At their best, Will and Hand, like Vladimir and Estragon, have genuine existential pathos; at their worst they're a little jejune, a pair of Holden Caulfields railing at the phonies....[T]here's genius here, and if it occasionally staggers, the book deserves our forgiveness and our respect..." Lev Grossman, Time

Review:

"Is the book any good? Yes. It's terrific....[T]he delivery is deadpan and heartfelt, the adventures absurdist and valiant....Eggers reaches us with his postcards from a sharp, high edge, and we are grateful." Celia McGee, New York Daily News

About the Author

Dave Eggers is the founder of McSweeney's, a small group that sells taxidermy equipment and also produces books, a literary quarterly, and The Believer, a monthly review. McSweeney's, based in San Francisco, is also home to 826 Valencia, a non-profit educational center for Bay Area youth, which also sells pirate supplies. Eggers's first book was A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. This is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Tyler Jones, October 20, 2010 (view all comments by Tyler Jones)
Dave Eggers first novel after the explosion of "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" is a rambling, long winded story of two friends traveling around the world to give away a large sum of money left to them by a dead friend.

Eggers is a talented writer, of that there is no doubt. However, his ambition seems to outweigh his abilities, perhaps success came too fast for him to develop his craft. Either way, "YSHKOV!" is probably about more than the story, although the themes are lost somewhere in the narrative. These two friends travel, encounter people, give some money to them, talk amongst themselves, and sometimes even philosophize about how worthy they are to eat a piece of pizza.

What Eggers specializes in is the self-awareness of young men, feeling that life is something more than surface...but they have a hard time figuring out just what that meaning is. They feel different, they are intelligent and articulate but ultimately aimless and wandering the world without any ambition.

The diasffected young male has been a staple of literature for decades, but now, there is more emotion to these characters than previous hereoes, like Salinger's and Kerouac's. Today's young man reaches 30 and is suddenly slapped in the face by the reality of life, and it stings. The problem, is that Eggers' heroes speak esoterically of the meaning of everything but focus on nothing of real importance.

In short, Eggers bites off more than he can chew. He sounds smart, but it's misplaced intelligence, it's a focus on aspects of life that true intellectuals see as minor parts of the major whole. It's these mundane aspects he spends most of his time writing about and it's unfortunate.

Thankfully, he grew as a writer much later, "What is the What" is evidence of a man who has seen more of the world at large and all the other people who inhabit it. People who can't take the time to wonder about how worthy one must be to eat a pizza becuase they're too busy trying to survive...and that is the bigger picture he misses in this novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400033546
Author:
Eggers, Dave
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Grief
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Philanthropists
Subject:
Male friendship
Subject:
Loss
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;travel;novel;american;friendship;contemporary;money;american literature;grief;africa;literature;humor;death;contemporary fiction;postmodern;eggers;dave eggers;2000s;philanthropy;quirky;mcsweeney s
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
107-16
Publication Date:
July 1, 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 ILLUSTRATIONS
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.04x5.22x.83 in. .84 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. The Best American Nonrequired... Used Trade Paper $4.50
  2. Oh the Glory of It All
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  3. Indecision Used Hardcover $4.48
  4. Speaking with the Angel Used Trade Paper $1.50
  5. This Shape We're in Used Hardcover $9.50
  6. I (02 Edition) Used Hardcover $10.00

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

You Shall Know Our Velocity! Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400033546 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] headlong, heartsick and footsore first novel....[N]obody writes better than Dave Eggers about young men who aspire to be, at the same time, authentic and sincere....[A] lesser effort [than Heartbreaking], but entirely honorable and ultimately persuasive."
"Review" by , "There are some wonderful set-pieces here, and memorable phrases tossed on the ground like unwanted pennies from the guy who runs the mint."
"Review" by , "[E]ntertaining and profoundly original....Eggers makes a strong argument for the arbitrary quality of wealth, and how difficult it is to redistribute it in a way that is not equally arbitrary. And though he coats this meditation on generosity in his helium-inflected humor, there is a self-reflexive sadness, too."
"Review" by , "MTV's Jackass, as scripted by Samuel Beckett....The novel's grinding, at times monotonous rock and roll of plane trips and hotel rooms and (often hilarious) bickering...is punctuated by surprising, elegant lyrics....[A] messy, funny book. As always with Eggers, not least interesting is figuring out just who the joke is on."
"Review" by , "Will and Hand?s rapport is so engaging, and it?s so good to hear Eggers' voice, that Velocity cruises along nicely for quite a while. But soon, for every funny-weird philanthropic adventure...there are tens of pages of deadening, familiar stuff....In its final pages, Velocity achieves a kind of anguished, profane poetry. It?s not heartbreaking. It?s not staggering. But if Eggers is a question, the answer is still yes."
"Review" by , "[Will and Hand] treat their life like a madcap movie (Paul Bowles meets Evel Knievel!), but reading Eggers's listless prose feels more like sitting through some unhinged friend's blurry vacation photos....Eggers's novel limps along, strangely static."
"Review" by , "[T]hough Y.S.K.O.V. coasts only on charm for scores of pages at a stretch, at its best, it simply moves and is moving....[F]or every dead passage there's a sterling set piece, an energetic consideration of grief or joy....Despite its emotional depth and inventive structure, [the novel] does not break the heart and seems unlikely to stagger. (Grade: B)"
"Review" by , "Eggers' strengths as a writer are real....At their best, Will and Hand, like Vladimir and Estragon, have genuine existential pathos; at their worst they're a little jejune, a pair of Holden Caulfields railing at the phonies....[T]here's genius here, and if it occasionally staggers, the book deserves our forgiveness and our respect..."
"Review" by , "Is the book any good? Yes. It's terrific....[T]he delivery is deadpan and heartfelt, the adventures absurdist and valiant....Eggers reaches us with his postcards from a sharp, high edge, and we are grateful."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.