Jeffrey Mervosh's Reviews > A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
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's review
Aug 26, 2012

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bookshelves: literature
Read from August 19 to 26, 2012

Definitely not my favorite writing of Eggers' ('What is the What' and 'A Heartbreaking Work' being brilliant in my mind), this is a quick, easy read about one man in a foreign land, unable to escape the regret for mistakes in his past even as he navigates a strange new world where they don't seem to matter.

Alan is a very real protaganist, in that he is not very heroic, nor is he faced by dramatic conflict or material ripe for literary adaptation. Instead, he is a painfully normal (kind of boring) guy who bumbles through situations and letters to his daughter, all of which is tied loosely together by Eggers' still superior gift for prose and eye for compelling detail. Alan may be boring, but the Saudi Arabia depicted here thankfully is not, and the biggest regret in reading the novel is that we only get to experience the world that Eggers writes about through the mundane filter of a pretty boring American guy too busy with self-flagellating himself for being caught in the throes of a financial recession to actually commit to anything interesting.

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08/23/2012 page 105
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