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Bis an die Grenze

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  10,117 ratings  ·  1,293 reviews
Eine Mutter auf der Flucht – ein Roadtrip ans Ende der Zivilisation

»Bis an die Grenze« ist ein berührender, warmherziger Roman, in dessen Zentrum Josie steht, eine alleinerziehende Mutter, die mitsamt ihren beiden Kindern aus den Zwängen ihres Vorstadtlebens flieht und sich in der Wildnis Alaskas neu zu finden sucht. Dave Eggers Porträt einer Frau, die hin- und hergerissen
Hardcover, 1. Edition, 496 pages
Published March 9th 2017 by Kiepenheuer & Witsch (first published July 26th 2016)
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Oliver Optic Talking about going north when they were in Homer, like there is any other direction to go! Then they go to Denali 700 miles away without going…moreTalking about going north when they were in Homer, like there is any other direction to go! Then they go to Denali 700 miles away without going through Anchorage or referencing one Alaskan place on the way. Then the people fighting the fire near Homer just happen to pop in in Denali.

Jeremy Cherfas She didn't strike me as either profound or a fool, just a very normal woman who had made some bad choices and some good ones and was trying to deal…moreShe didn't strike me as either profound or a fool, just a very normal woman who had made some bad choices and some good ones and was trying to deal with how things were working out. She does have a tendency to overthink when it is of no consequence and to underthink when it matters, but I think that's part of who she is.(less)
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Community Reviews

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3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,117 ratings  ·  1,293 reviews

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Elyse Walters
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being the Dave Eggers fan I am, I started reading this book shortly after it arrived on my Kindle at midnight last night - from a pre-order many months prior.
Immediately, my thoughts were "I'm so happy"!!! "Oh....I'm enjoying this"...."Damn, this is good....I'm so excited!!!!!" "It's good, it's good! It's GOOD!!!!!

The surroundings - geography - wilderness - environment as the backdrop of this story is entrancing.

Josie has just arrived in Anchorage, Alaska with her two children, Paul and Ana.
Joachim Stoop
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is Dave Eggers free of limits and boundaries: free of the facts in What is the what and Zeitoun, free of the specific story settings in The Circle and A hologram for the king, free of his own biography in AHWOSG. This is a beautiful, endearing, outrageous Eggers.

This book is...

... a lesson in how to write a novel.
... yet again about an American, dysfunctional small town family, but it leaves the competition far behind
… one on which publishers should put a sticker with the warning: 'wil
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The novel is a slapdash, picaresque adventure and spiritual coming-of-age tale — “On the Road” crossed with “Henderson the Rain King” with some nods to “National Lampoon’s Vacation” along the way. It’s not as moving as “Hologram” and hardly as bravura a performance as the author’s stunning debut, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” but Mr. Eggers has so mastered the art of old-fashioned, straight-ahead storytelling here that the reader quickly becomes immersed in Josie’s funny-sad tale ...more
Jonille Shepherd
Can't actually say I read the whole book. I really wanted to love this book because I did this! I divorced, took my daughter and ran away to Alaska, by car and tent- with a pod on the roof of my Datsun full of things to start life over again. I suppose I wanted it to be about my adventures, which were very different. I wanted her to find what I did in Alaska and she just had to much baggage which she couldn't seem to get over. Oh well, guess I will just have to write my own book.
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying I've liked some of Dave Eggers's work. I read AHWOSG the week it was released. I thoroughly enjoyed You Shall Know Our Velocity. The Circle was okay. Zeitoun was excellent. So I'm familiar with his oeuvre.

But a problem that began rearing its head in the Circle has metastasized in Heroes of the Frontier: Eggers CANNOT write believable characters.

I will provide you some examples. Sadly, there are flashes of Eggers's creativity in his prose. For instance, the first time he
Brandon Forsyth
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A woman, utterly lost and searching for purpose, takes her two children on a road trip through the untamed wilderness of Alaska in Dave Eggers' new novel. Eggers' return to prose is an entirely welcome one, after the fascinating dialogue-driven experiment of his last book, YOUR FATHERS, WHERE ARE THEY? AND THE PROPHETS, DO THEY LIVE FOREVER? (which has to be the longest and least-commercial title in existence). I am a bit of an Eggers fanboy (for all its faults, I loved YOUR FATHERS, and I'm a c ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in the Goodreads contest.
I really wanted to love this book, the premise was full of drama and heartache and the idea of being able to find yourself even with a hectic and insane life happening at the same time. I started this book, and found I just couldn't connect with the protagonist. I stopped and read two other books in between and then finish this book just today. I felt like Josie had a lot going on, and probably more than most people...but she was all over the place. She
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, alaska, 2016, arc
Review edited/added to on 8/11/16 after some thought.
Change #1: Rating dropped to 2 stars, after realizing I've been over generous in my initial 4 star review.
Addition #1: There are two types of readers for this book: Dave Eggers fans & Alaska fans. If you are reading this because it is Alaska, just stop right now. You'll be sorely disappointed by how inaccurate it is. I alluded to it in my initial review, as regards to the food prices (Yes, it is a little bit more expensive in Alaska, but n
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

Not the worst guest house shelving I've seen. Pretty good even. I can't say I've ever been tempted by Shantaram but it could probably be worse. There's Mo Yan there which I was this close to picking up. There's a Tom Robbins which I'd not touch with a ten foot pole unless it be about 8 degrees below zero and I needed to warm the room.... The Eggers, which was my choice. Cheryl Strayed? probably not but maybe for some other folks. There's a Jack London novel I've got to admit I'd never heard of.
Jaclyn Crupi
Fundamentally plotless and meandering Heroes of the Frontier details Josie's escape from contemporary American life to Alaska with her two children. The book slowly reveals what she is running from and offers commentary on how we live our lives today. I was bored senseless throughout the book and kind of can't believe Eggers wrote it. I've read every book he's written and this is certainly my least favourite. He seemed to want to say something about contemporary life and forced it into a roadtri ...more
Emily Graham
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction, wtb
Probably something I would have liked less if I didn't also want to rent an RV and flee to Alaska
Sian Lile-Pastore
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a slow burner about a dentist and her two kids who run away to Alaska. Plot-wise it's pretty episodic - going from one place to another, one adventure to another - so it's not particularly gripping in a what-happens-next sense, but it's compelling in its writing and it's characters. I loved these characters! They were all so real and believable! Josie (the mom/dentist) with a traumatic past, strong, brave and flawed, her two children - eight year old Paul, kind, sensible and stoic, and t ...more
I got about a quarter of the way in and decided I didn't care about this story of a woman who flees to the Alaska highway with her two children. By the time I'd read that many pages, I feel like I should have had a sense of who she was and why she was doing what she was doing, and it all seemed so random and arbitrary. I loved What is the What SO much, and I enjoyed Zeitoun and A Heartbreaking Memoir with an Unwieldy Title, as well, and I sort of want to tell Dave Eggers that he does better with ...more
Judy Colprubin
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FIrst, kudos to Eggers for getting inside the head of a woman. This is a beautiful story about a single mother, who has made mistakes in love and work (like all of us), going on a metaphoric and literal journey with her two young children. The venue is Alaska, the only place in the U.S. that can still be considered a frontier, that we think of as breathtakingly wild, but is, as Eggers describes it, also run down and mundane. The beauty of being inside Josie's head is that she's commonplace enoug ...more
Mar 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I wish I could give negative stars. This was a piece of shit. The characters were shit. The plot was shit. The writing was shit. I finished this only so that I could properly say I read the whole thing and it NEVER GOT BETTER.
Mal Warwick
Dave Eggers’ latest novel, Heroes of the Frontier, was disappointing. It’s well written, of course. Eggers is a supremely talented writer, and he has won a very long list of literary awards, including a Pulitzer for Nonfiction. He has written books that I found to be excellent. I especially enjoyed Zeitoun (nonfiction) and What Is the What (a novel). A Hologram for the King, not so much.

I’m aware that these views are dramatically different from those of many other reviewers. So be it.

No heroes o
Aug 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book about Alaska I've read this summer, and it's definitely the worst. Do you want a seemingly endless litany of how expensive groceries and white wine and gas are, alongside an unlikable protagonist who makes poor life choices and is often an irresponsible parent? Do you like that feeling of being on a road trip when you don't know where you are and you don't know how much longer the ride will last? Check it.
Chris Pavone
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic book! I can't remember the last time I heard a more true sounding voice coming off the page, so distinct and cohesive and engaging and hilarious. Plus as a stay-at-home parent I have a special degree of admiration for tales of unhinged parents (see especially Maria Semple's most recent two novels), and Josie is one of the most unhinged I've ever encountered.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've ever read! A sometimes slightly disturbing look at grieving while parenting and helping children make find themselves. I really enjoyed this story and the gorgeous scenery and descriptions of encounters with different types of people. Can't wait to discuss it at book club to hear other perspectives.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mientras Leo
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo maravilloso de las road novel son las reflexiones que uno tiene y la evolución en ese camino. En este caso evitando incendios, evitando vida, buscando vida y su lugar en ella mientras vemos como está la protagonista a punto de naufragar una y otra vez ahogándose en humo o en el fondo de un vaso. Y esos niños que son los grandes protagonistas de la historia, disferentes como las formas de enfrentarse a la vida de los adultos
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordamericana
Per le strade dell'Alaska, una donna su un camper fugge con i due figli. Piacevole da leggere, per alcuni versi ritorna il tema dei bambini in cui manca una base sicura, come nell'Opera Struggente capita al fratellino del narratore. Anche qui episodi surreali si mescolano con avventure on the road, però da Eggers mi aspettavo qualcosa di più.
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and weird and funny. Meandering and epiphanic. Alaskan-set. Anything else? I loved how unpredictable the book was, in terms of both the "plot," such as it was, and the things that came out of the thoughts and minds of the main character Josie, who's a kind of everywoman fucked-up dentist on the run with her two kids, Ana and Paul. All three characters very fully formed as people. I thought about them a lot even when I wasn't reading, and when I was reading I laughed out loud several times, ...more
I love Dave Eggers writing, his humor and observations, his telling details. This one was a little long, though. I like big books (and small books) but there were scenes, esp. in the 2nd half, that just went on and on and I found myself skimming and by the end, what really happened, what really changed with the main character? Not much, actually. So, four stars for the writing. The overall story, three stars. I loved A Hologram for the King and liked a lot The Circle, but this one, story wise, j ...more
Tanja Berg
I first wanted to read this because the author was Dave Eggers and I really enjoyed "the Circle". Then the ratings on goodreads were quite poor, so I decided against it. Then I thought, "Oh, but it's Dave Eggers!" and bought it. I should have stuck with my initial resolve not to read it.

Josie is on the run in Alaska, in a hired RV, with her two children. She has left her disentgrated life as a dentist behind and is trying to escape her grating conscience. Eventually we get more insight into the
missy jean
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've barely read books this fall. Too much work and debilitating existential angst, you know the drill. But this was the right book to come back to, for me, after two months without fiction, because it's about the way things are counterbalanced on each other: the terror and thrill of the wilderness, the dreariness and comfort of the known boundaries of the world, the way everything is a trade-off for something else. And it captures better than most books the anxious knife-edge of parenting, the ...more
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even loose, sloppy Dave Eggers is still interesting, but as a mom, I had a hard time reading about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown setting off for Alaska with two young kids and no plan, especially when Eggers emphasizes repeatedly that the younger one is drawn to danger. So I read the whole book waiting for catastrophe to occur. Also felt irritated by a few gratuitously gross bits early on (why, Dave, why?), and bored with some of Dave's patented rants about Modern Life, even though ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to put this one down --finished it in only a couple of days and I work full time!

A mother "kidnaps" her two young children and takes them from Ohio to Alaska where she rents a decrepit motorhome and drives them across the wilderness searching for meaning, forgiveness and love. The details of the journey are startling, shocking and wonderful by turns. Eggers has done it again! Another heartbreaking work of staggering genius! Read it! You'll be glad you did.
I like Dave Eggers, but I'm not sure what was going on with this book. I'm far from a helicopter mom, but I read this slightly panicked, at all times. The kids were alright at the end of the book, but that is no thanks to Josie. Besides, there's always the next day. Eggers' prose is still gorgeous, and at no time did I feel like putting the book down. I don't also mind reading about losers per se, but there's something terrible about losers with trusting kids in tow. So no. Not for me.
Jim Nail
Dave Eggers takes the point of view of a woman here, a mixed-up, very human character who makes a lot of bad choices and somehow they propel her toward a greater understanding of the mystery of life. Josie, approaching 40, reeling from a bad marriage and a dental practice destroyed by malpractice suits. slides off the grid and disappears into the Alaskan wilderness with her two children.
For the first 100 pages or so I was pretty bored. Nothing seems to happen and there isn't much explanation for
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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
“She was done, gone. She had been comfortable, and comfort is the death of the soul, which is by nature searching, insistent, unsatisfied. This dissatisfaction drives the soul to leave, to get lost, to be lost, to struggle and adapt. And adaptation is growth, and growth is life. A human’s choice is either to see new things, mountains, waterfalls, deadly storms and seas and volcanoes, or to see the same man-made things endlessly reconfigured.” 6 likes
“The easiest way to witness the stupidity and misplaced hopes of humanity is to watch, for twenty minutes, a human using a leaf blower. With this machine, the man was saying, I will murder all quiet. I will destroy the aural plane. And I will do so with a machine that performs a task far less efficiently than I could with a rake.” 3 likes
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