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May 29, 2017 | by  | in Books |
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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius — Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers is self-aware. But not as self-aware as I am, writing this review and acknowledging that I’m attempting to recreate Eggers’ self-aware literary style, which is aware not only that his book is fiction, but that he is aware how he is trying to make the reader aware that his book is fiction, and I am aware of all of this, making me the most aware and therefore the winner.

The author of this review wishes also to acknowledge that the entirety of this review is not necessary to read. Only the very last paragraph will be of any practical use in a reader’s ongoing existence. The preceding paragraphs will merely be blatantly egoistic and indulgent exercises in post-modern literary craft. They will additionally be somewhat sad, or joyful. The author is undecided in an annoying sort of way.

My parents are both still alive. But they could have died at any moment throughout my childhood. That they didn’t was an act of perverse sabotage to remove the possibility of my, or my siblings’, lives being at all “chosen,” “special,” or “tragically glamourous.” I am furious. I have spent the last two decades trying to scramble bits and pieces of glamour and unique purpose out of a mundane, stable existence. It is only slightly working.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is not that. But it is perfectly good enough. It is a memoir of sorts, detailing in a swirl of edited facts and renamed heroes the confusing life of Dave Eggers himself. His parents did die, sadly. He wrote this book as a scourge upon his own skin, aiming for total catharsis. His writerly gift makes this bearable to read. As a note of interest, he also wrote The Circle, which has Emma Watson in it.

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