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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

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Add This - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Written by Dave EggersAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Dave Eggers

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 496 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: February 13, 2001
  • Price: $15.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-72578-4 (0-375-72578-4)
about this book

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a fine book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly. Eggers’ most powerful prose is often his most straightforward, relying on old-fashioned truth telling for its punch.” —The New York Times Book Review

The literary sensation of the year, a book that redefines both family and narrative for the twenty-first century. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. Here is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.

“This edition of A.H.W.O.S.G. contains countless changes, sentence by sentence, many additions to the body of the text, and it also contains . . . an appendix, featuring corrections, notations, updates, tangential remarks and clarifications.” —David Eggers

“What is really shocking and exciting is the book’s sheer rage. AHWOSG is truly ferocious, like any work of genius. Eggers—self-reliant, transcendent, expansive—is Emerson’s ideal Young American. [The book] does itself justice: it is a settling of accounts. And it is almost too good to be believed.” —London Review of Books

“There’s a restless energy all over this book. . . . [It’s] a keen mixture of self-consciousness and hope, of horror and hysteria and freshness and wisdom.” —The Village Voice

“[AHWOSG] never comes on as oppressive or self-pitying. Eggers has instead pitched his tone at an uncommon sort of irony, using it not as a device to keep us at arm’s length but to involve us—to make the story of his life tellable, and thus, somehow, survivable. Heartbreaking? Certainly. Staggering? Yes. . . . And if genius is capturing the universal in a fresh and memorable way, call it that too.” —The Times (London)

“Scathingly perceptive and hysterically funny. . . . Eggers reveals a true, and truly broken, heart.” —People

“For 40 years readers have been waiting around on J. D. Salinger to send down a new manuscript from high atop his reclusive Vermont mountain. Well, the vigil is over and we can forget about hearing from Salinger. He’s been replaced by a stunning new writer. His name is Dave Eggers.” —Tampa Tribune

“This thing took off for me in the basement and didn’t stop. It’s a merciless book.” —David Foster Wallace

“The force and energy of this book could power a train.” —David Sedaris

“Dave Eggers is the best new writer in America, bar none, and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the single most inspired, demented, soul-searing, gorgeously written, laugh-til-you-convulse memoir to smack the American public in the face.” —Mirabella

“Like any good trip, it’s not the destination, but what’s around the bend that counts. [Eggers] takes us on a trip where he throws his hat out the window, rather than into the ring … to a place between autobiography and fiction, a place just off a bumpy road where truth is perhaps most comfortable. Exhilarating! Stunning! Heartbreaking! AHWOSG amazes constantly.” —The Globe and Mail

“The frantic, speeding, often hilarious narrative is a sort of dancing in place, aimed at holding off the pain and sorrow of this terrible thing that has happened to the family. . . . A great feast of a book.” —The Irish Times

“[AHWOSG] is not at all cynical. On the contrary it is imbued with an almost desperate longing . . . to find some kind of irreducible truth in it all. And not just for Eggers. It is fair to say that he has aimed AHWOSG squarely at his generation.” —American Prospect

“At his best Eggers is something of a pioneer, more than usually alive to new literary possibilities, and smuggling energy into a genre that sorely needs it. He bounces and switches and surfs, all by himself, and makes it look easy.” —Vogue

“As the grand old men of American letters seem to be settling into their rockers, here comes a new voice shouting with energy.” —USA Today

“Eggers unfailingly captures the reader with gorgeous conviction.” —The Toronto Star

“The most memorable moments in this book center on the relationship between the brothers. Dave and Toph are a team, world-beaters, unstoppable. At heart this is a deeply moving, emotionally honest book, written with tremendous energy. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“I can’t think of anyone who captures the delight and terror of parenthood as well as Eggers does here … This [book] may be the bridge from the Age of Irony to Some Other As Yet Unnamed Age that we’ve been waiting for.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“The most obvious thing to say about this book is that it has a brilliant title. And the least expected thing to say about the title is that, for all its knowing jokiness, it is pretty accurate.” —The Mail (London)

“A brave work, and not a little heartbreaking.” —National Post (Toronto)

“I join the chorus: Dave Eggers has written a superb memoir. . . . The work soars because it is, simply and tremendously, an honest and moving account of one man’s life. In the process, he reminds us that
while the language and style of literature are always changing, it is forever about coming to terms with the timeless conflicts of the human heart. . . . Like all authors, he uses his life and imagination to make sense of the world. Like the very best writers, he does not manufacture cheap answers.” —The News & Observer