Book #62: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2001)

heartbreakingauthor: Dave Eggers
language: English
length: 810 minutes (13 hours 30 minutes)
finished listening on: 14 June 2014

Still working my way through Humble-Bundle-supplied material, this is another audiobook via them. It’s an autobiographical tale and the first book by Dave Eggers, about how in his early twenties he was tasked to raise his preteen brother after his parents died.

It’s narrated by a guy whose voice I now recognize from two other audiobooks (Swordspoint and American Gods) as part of their extended casts – a very distinct and powerful voice, and with a noticeably AAVE/black English-hinted accent. This leads to confusing moments when the author of this story mentions that his brother had never met a black person before or how there were only two black guys in his school, clashing with how the voice sounds.

It’s an interesting subject matter, certainly, and interesting enough to keep me listening, although I also found the author and the character by which he portrays himself to be very self-absorbed. It’s also told in a very stream-of-consciousness style, which can lead to humour but also led to me tuning out quite a bit. This is especially obvious during the extended preface and acknowledgement chapter, here confusingly presented at the end of the audiobook. It also leads to me not fully being able to recount a lot of the story.

It was fine, anyway. I enjoyed it, despite having nothing particular to say about it. I probably wouldn’t quite go so far as to recommend it, though.

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One Response to Book #62: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2001)

  1. Pingback: Book #86: Bear, Otter, and the Kid (2011) | reuoq

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