Synopses & Reviews
"Eggers's first unabashedly fictional, original novel in some time nonetheless grounds itself as firmly in the real world as Zeitoun or What is the What. Businessman Alan Clay has reached middle age with experience in manufacturing and door-to-door salesmanship considered almost wholly anachronistic and in post-industrial America, 'as intriguing... as an airplane built from mud.' Deeply in debt and unable to continue paying for his daughter Kit to go to college, Alan finds himself in Saudi Arabia awaiting the arrival of 'the Kingdom's' elusive monarch for a chance to pitch his employer, Reliant, as the information technology supplier for a massive new King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) development. In limbo, Alan writes letters to Kit that he'll never mail, frets about his health (he's discovered a growth on his neck), and wrestles with insecurity over his past personal and business failings. This conflation of Waiting for Godot and Save the Tiger is unsurprising, if sympathetic, in its portrait of a global economy with all the solidity of a sandcastle. Eggers strikes fresh and genuine notes, however, in Alan's burgeoning friendship with the young Saudi man, Yousef, assigned to be his driver. Both Eggers's fans and those previously resistant to his work will find a spare but moving elegy for the American century. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"An extraordinary work of timely and provocative themes....This novel reminds us that above all, Eggers is a writer of books, and a writer of the highest order....An outstanding achievement in Eggers's already impressive career, and an essential read." Carmela Ciuraru, The San Francisco Chronicle
"Eggers understands the pressures of American downward-mobility, and in the protagonist of his novel, Alan Clay, has created an Everyman, a post-modern Willy Loman....The novel operates on a grand and global scale, but it also is intimate." Elizabeth Taylor, The Chicago Tribune
"Fascinating....Although Godot may be Hologram's philosophical source, Eggers is no Beckettian minimalist. The novel is paradoxically suspenseful, but it's also rich in character and in Eggers's evocative writing about place....A Hologram for the King, as far from home as it might seem, is an acute slice of American life." Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
"Dave Eggers is a prince among men when it comes to writing deeply felt, socially conscious books that meld reportage with fiction. While A Hologram for the King is fiction...it's a strike against the current state of global economic injustice." Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair
"[A] supremely readable parable of America in the global economy that is haunting, beautifully shaped and sad....With ferocious energy and versatility, [Eggers] has been studying how the world is remaking America....Eggers has developed an exceptional gift for opening up the lives of others so as to offer the story of globalism as it develops and, simultaneously, to unfold a much more archetypal tale of struggle and loneliness and drift." Pico Iyer, The New York Times Book Review
"Eggers's spare prose is a pleasure, and A Hologram for the King proves to be a deft blend of surreal adventure, absurd comedy and pointed observations." Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News
"As the kingless days pass, Alan ventures from the tent and hotel into the rich, unsettling realities of the Kingdom, and Eggers ventures deeper into Alan, as well as into the question that has seemingly guided Eggers's work for years: What does it mean to be an American in a world that has places like the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, or post-Katrina New Orleans?" Alan Scherstuhl, San Francisco Weekly
In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughters college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economys gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment — and a moving story of how we got here.
About the Author
is the bestselling author of seven books including A Hologram for the King
, a finalist for the National Book Award; Zeitoun
, winner of the American Book Award and Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and What Is the What
, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won Frances Prix Medici. In 2002, with Ninive Calegari he cofounded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco. Local communities around the country have since opened sister 826 centers. Eggers lives in Northern California with his wife and two children.