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Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  7,927 ratings  ·  1,026 reviews
From Dave Eggers, best-selling author of The Circle, a tightly controlled, emotionally searching novel. Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is the formally daring, brilliantly executed story of one man struggling to make sense of his country, seeking answers the only way he knows how.

In a barracks on an abandoned military base, miles from
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Knopf (first published June 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  7,927 ratings  ·  1,026 reviews

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Start your review of Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kidnappers, people who like dialogue
I liked it? God, I suck at trying to explain why I like a particular book. There's this lady who comes into my work and she always asks me what I'm reading. She's really only asking me this so she can tell me what she has been reading, but I always feel obligated to tell her about the books I've been reading. She is incredible at explaining the good and bad points of books and most of the time I end up borrowing whatever she suggests. But me, I am shit and she knows it. It's all in the eyes peop ...more
Campbell Andrews
May 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
This isn't fiction, it's op-ed wankery. After The Circle and this, I now have no interest in Eggers' next book. It makes me wonder: when's the last time anybody said to him, "Hey Dave? This isn't very good." ...more
Lee Klein
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
People seem to hear that this one has a long and unrememberable title, involves an astronaut, and that it's "all dialogue" -- and think it's gonna be "weird." I was one of those people: at first I heard that the new Eggers novel, the third in as many years, took place at a Japanese internment/concentration camp. And then I heard something about astronauts and all dialogue, that it's (mistakenly) more of a return to his early Velocity days. Eggers has described the book as sort of a weird stepson ...more
May 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
For a superior novel about man-eating crabs, please read:
Carmen Petaccio
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"What do you want to build? The world is already built."

"So I just walk around in an already built world? That's a joke."

"That's the joke you live in."
Jun 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: grownup
Okay. I love Dave Eggers. I can't help it. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is probably still my all-time favorite book, and I love What is the What and Zeitoun, and I love the work he does with McSweeney's and 826 and Voices of Witness. Love it.

But the problem is I think over the last few years (as he enters middle-aged white dude status) Dave Eggers has been on some kind of quest to see if he can make the struggles of middle-class white dudes as interesting as like, refugees and tragi
Sam Quixote
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On an abandoned military base on the Pacific coast, a troubled man called Thomas has kidnapped an astronaut and tied him up. What does Thomas want and why is he doing this? To have a chat about the good ol’ days. Except for Thomas, the conversation is just beginning - and he wants to get more people involved...

This is easily the best novel I’ve read all year. Dave Eggers’ Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is an all-dialogue novel, meaning no omniscient narrato
Elyse  Walters
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I LOVED IT!!!! Enormously provocative and hilarious.
The first half of the book, my husband and I read aloud together. (we were having a blast --stopping and having discussions) --- I finished the last half myself after he went to sleep.

Several negative reviews???? I do NOT AGREE!!! This book allows for DISCUSSION ---
Its too thin of a book to share much or give much away. Its best just reading it. It will only take a few hours of your time: FULLY WORTH the CREATIVE experience!!!!!

Here are a 'f
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I have so many problems with this book.

First of all the name is really misleading i thought this book was gonna be about religion? If you want to sell actual copies of this book change the name to "The People I Kidnapped and Why I am A Narcissistic Asshole with Grandiose Delusions". The book is entirely about man pain. Literally that's the book. And if it was written from the point of view where its like, yes, this guys an asshole, and were trying to show you that, and why its bad, i could have
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't understand why so maybe people hated this book. I thought writing in all dialogue was interesting. Challenging to some, maybe, but we were told where they were, what it was like. We knew. I'm not a man. But I understood his plight. I don't think it was about middle aged white entitlement. I think he could have been any color, really. It was about people who have this feeling of displacement. That they have this energy, this something inside them that isn't exactly destructive but not exa ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I read this as I was flying into a place that was unknown to myself; love and retrieval of the future was my main focus and I succeeded in both and for that, I will always be thankful.

Now…my thoughts with this book and author.

Rating would have to be closer to a 3.5.

Dave Eggers is an interesting one. He always tends to bring up national/international issues within his books, but with a quirky sense of satire mixed in.  With his newest “Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Liv
Jessica Woodbury
I've read a lot of Dave Eggers books. (I used to own 3 different versions of SACRAMENT.) In some ways this is a return to form of some of his earlier novels. Loose, strange, not in search of any greater good but just there to tell an unusual story with unusual characters. And as much as I adore WHAT IS THE WHAT and his ambitious fiction, I can't deny the enjoyment of reading YOUR FATHERS, WHERE ARE THEY? and how quickly I was able to dash through it.

It is hard to review this book, it certainly d
Alice (Married To Books)
DNF at Page 72 (I don't leave star ratings to books I don't finish!)

This is a dialogue format story about a NASA astronaut who discovers he has been kidnapped and the one who kidnapped him claimed to know him from the past. They spend lots of time discussing and answering questions and accusations. The story was most definitely not for me. I wasn't a fan of the subject content and felt quite triggered by one exchange between the two characters during the section I read. I can see why readers wil
Leo Robertson
Sep 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ahahaha!! That was one of the worst things I've read in a while.

You know, like it's all dialogue, which I guess is a technique he's partly biting from William Gaddis, who obviously did it wayyyy better! I was at least looking forward to a mess of speakers all at once but it's just one guy who pairs off folk and talks to them one-on-one, which makes it much easier to write than a novel written in standard form with even a single scene with many people in the same room, so it's far from daringly w
May 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars

Easily the worst of Eggers' offerings I've read so far, YFWAT?ATPDTLF? is another effort of his to champion a "cause", and rally for the rights of the disenfranchised. Unlike vastly superior efforts like What is the What and Zeitoun, this time Eggers tries humorless Palahniuk-y gimmickry coupled with limp Mamet-esque theatrics to deliver his message. As my political viewpoints are similarly aligned to his, Eggers is preaching to the choir, but thanks to an utter lack of subtlety and (cu
Bob Lopez
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
It was written with urgency; unfortunately, it's a kind of condescending urgency you would find in a college application essay where the kid thinks he should get into an Ivy League school but really probably belongs at a Tier 2 institution. Smug and self-satisfied, preachy ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Alexandra Reddy
Recommended to Madaline by: Toby
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At least it was slightly more interesting (and a lot shorter) than The Circle.
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I totally get why people wouldn't like this book. Completely understand and appreciate it. A borderline magical realism book consisting only of dialogue with an ambiguous ending that leaves you wondering what's real and what's not (if any of it even is at all)? I get it, man. But holy crap is this right in my wheelhouse. Plot is overrated. "Before the Fall" was overflowing with plot, and it was kind of crappy. I'd much rather be immersed in a book full of subtle ideas and philosophical discussio ...more
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going four stars on this because I really liked it, but I didn't looooOOOOoooove it.

I proposed this to my bookclub and it was turned down immediately, and I feel that was probably due to the long title and the fact that it's written entirely in dialogue. This can come off as gimmicky and probably pretentious, but if that's wrong, then I don't want to be right. A couple other reviewers have argued it doesn't have a plot, and while it doesn't have a plot in the sense of "here-are-a-lot-of-var
Aug 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Imagine Holden Caulfield all grown up, but 1000 times more impotent and whiny. This is the main character of this book. It starts with an interesting premise, but slowly just becomes a platform for complaining about the unfairness of life. Good grief, I've never hated a protagonist more, and not in a good way.

Since the book is entirely dialogue, clumsy attempts are made to fill the reader in on what is happening. He's kidnapped an astronaut--how do you know this? Because he exclaims to himself
Leo Robertson
Gave this another go because it's all dialogue and I'm all about plays and single settings at the moment :) Because I started filmmaking much later than I started writing, and if you can overcome the creative constraints of one location with a good script, your film is free and it takes the focus off of fancy cinematography, about which I know very little, haha! (Though with each project I'm gradually integrating more ways of using the camera, lenses, colours and lighting to tell the story, and ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to jim by: no one
If it was only for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, I think I would still be blindly buying just about anything that Eggers writes. That I loved What is the What, You Shall Know Our Velocity, and We Are Hungry just solidifies his status as one of my favorite authors, so despite thinking that both Hologram for the King and The Circle were two of the weaker entries in his oeuvre I was excited to add Your Fathers… to my shopping cart without reading either (yes, that’s with a long “i”) sy ...more
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
lotta reviewers here crapping about how it's all dialogue, or how parts of it stretch credulity, or about how it's a long whine about white-boy privilege... ya, sort of. but.

the central issue of the book--which i take to be about how the US has abandoned the idea of doing anything Big (like going to space) and thus left generations of young, bright men with nothing heroic to do--well, it may not have the emotional punch of more desperate needs, but that doesn't make it meaningless. a writer can
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Your Fathers, Where Are They? works more effectively as a thought experiment and an exercise in conversational flexibility than anything else, which marks this as minor Eggers. It's a fun little thing, and a quick, relatively breezy read, but basically Eggers sets out to answer these questions: Why are white males such dickbags? (and) What's missing in their lives to make them so angry and unsatisfied despite the fact they've had every advantage a person could want? I mean, it's a compelling que ...more
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
I guess the last three books by Dave Eggers could be considered a thematic trilogy; all of them seem to be trying to put their thumb on the current status of America. They are observant yet barbed works of fiction that in no way regard the United States as the "Land of the Free".

What sets this third book apart from "Hologram for the King" and "The Circle" is its form. Written entirely in dialogue, one could look at this as a script for a play or film, except there are no descriptions of setting
Steve Lively
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW! this book is absolutely incredible! While Eggers abandons many fiction writing norms, he in turn has cleared away all the muck and has presented readers with a bare bones announcement (manifesto?) of the New Lost Generation. While exploring the perspectives of various characters under differing levels of stress, he successfully jars readers to pay attention and wake up to this seedy world in which we live. We can no longer just pine for simpler times---we must live in our day and deal with ...more
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Dave. He's gotten slated pretty hard core for this one. Yes, it's a bit preachy. Yes, it doesn't really seem to focus around any one point - the spoiled entitlement of the younger generation- inherent pointlessness of modern life- government waste- trigger-happy cops - long enough to make them really well or join them all into a coherent whole but goddammit if I didn't enjoy reading it anyway (3.5 stars if I could give the half points).

The all dialogue format has put some people off (and p
Alex V.
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thomas is the everyman. The passenger. The victim to crimes being perpetrated on others. He is also a one-man Guantanamo. But he is also immortal in a way, maybe in every way one can be immortal. He at least gets people to remember him. He is certain he is on the side of morality. He is piteous and kind of a drag like all moral immortals and angry young men. He is doomed and bringing that doom to him as if he left a trail of crumbs.

Without spoiling anything, this is a book of dialogs Thomas has
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, books-i-own
What a fantastic and fun ride! This is my first David Eggers book. I will have to read more in the near future.
A middle-aged man kidnaps 6 people and takes them to an old army barracks where he questions them, trying to make sense out of his life and societies craziness.
The first part of the book has a sense of foreboding. He seems intent on his quest for answers. And you're wondering how far he will go to get them. Though the first kidnapping is well planned, he soon devolves. Kidnapping anot
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Dave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney’s Quarterly ...more

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