Sometimes after I finish a book, I check out what other readers had to say about it on Amazon (usually followed by me weeping for civilization and deciding that certain people are just too dumb to be allowed books). One of the reviews for this book was titled "A mind-numbing tome of self-absorbed navel-gazing". Due to its unapologetic nature, I truly believe that Eggers self-absorbed navel-gazing lends to the charm of this book. Let's be honest, most of us are completely self-absorbed. I know I am. But unlike the rest of us delusional idiots, the author fully owns and revels in his self-absorption. His routine breaking of the 4th wall (is that a thing in books? I'm not sure) gives a wink to the readers... showing that he's fully aware of what an obnoxious ass he sounds like. Just as we all would if our innermost thoughts were penned, published and became a national bestseller. However I doubt that my most pain-in-the-ass moments would come across as funny in print as Eggers'.
Also, I just realized that Dave Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney's. Annnnnnd it all comes together.
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.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is an instant classic that will be read in paperback for decades to come. The Vintage edition includes a new appendix by the author.