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You Shall Know Our Velocity!
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You Shall Know Our Velocity!

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  27,938 ratings  ·  1,632 reviews
In his first novel, Dave Eggers has written a moving and hilarious tale of two friends who fly around the world trying to give away a lot of money and free themselves from a profound loss. It reminds us once again what an important, necessary talent Dave Eggers is.
Paperback, 401 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Vintage (first published September 1st 2002)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  27,938 ratings  ·  1,632 reviews

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Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I'm a little torn here, because I feel like I was supposed to like this book, so part of me wants to pretend that I didn't like it. It just seems so blatantly directed at exactly who I am, a late 20's person confused about what direction to take in life. It's like a movie where you know they are trying to make you cry, and you do cry, and then feel bad about it because you know that they played you like a fiddle.
But as much as I'd like to resist it, I am a fiddle and this book played me. I iden
Jun 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Preface to the fourth edition:

I wrote this a few years ago, back when I had just finished reading the book, but before I had died. I still haven't died so that's beside the point. I'm procrastinating right now, and copying this from another site where this originally appeared.

Original Preface
There are three ways that I pick out books to read. One is through the convoluted and serpentine way that I choose most of my books. The second way is by catchy covers promising pop-culture hipness. This sec
Jun 20, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People willing to go out and blow $12.99
Hey main character, are you upset about something? Is nothing working out for you? AWWWWWW poor baby! Did you experience a personal loss that you found painful? Oh no! You must be the first person ever to feel pain! I feeeeeel sooooooo baaaaaaaaad for you! Are you going to tell us what happened? Oh, you'd rather give it to us bit by bit to keep up the suspense? Ok, that works (pbbbbttttt). Do you find things in normal everyday life hard to take, Holden Caulfield? Do you want to share with us exp ...more
Jun 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
The title of this novel is a misnomer. The protagonists -- Will and Hand -- are miserably slow and plodding. Full of piss and vinegar, but with little to actually back it up.

Basically, they plan to fly around the world in a week and give away $32,000. They make it to Africa and Eastern Europe. That's it. And the back of the book reads, "$32,000 must be given away in a week, around the world. But why?" That question is never answered.

Not only is the book's flow sluggish, but it's a complete min
Sarah Wingo
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Really 2 1/2 stars

I'm not sure what to say about this book really. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. I very often found myself enjoying Eggers's writing style while being annoyed with the story itself.

I don't really understand what it is with male writers that makes them want so badly to write these books about disillusioned young men who are basically losers. I mean this book is essentially Catcher in the Rye for people in their late 20s. I don't know I just have a problem with characters in
I loved the writing, I really did. Imaginative and colorful and funny. There was just too much of it.

I think the whole book could have been trimmed by 20 to 30 percent and been much more enjoyable. It’s divided into 3 parts, and in my edition they have ratios that are almost too mathematically precise to be a coincidence. The first 250 pages were Will’s first person account of his and his friend Hand’s frantic, limited-to-one-week, global travels trying to unload $32,000 in cash through various
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-americans
Before I get into the story of this book, and what I thought about it, I have to start with this. I LOVE the paper it's made of!! Really! It makes me want to write, in a typewriter, and live in some far off place, the color, the texture, wow, I tried to find out what they used but there is no information on the subject. I think I probably finished the book because of that wonderful paper it is made of. With paper like this, how can I even consider going on to electronic books?

Now, for the story
stuart b
May 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to stuart by: Alex & Katy
I’m glad I read this although I had conflicting opinions all throughout the book.

The writing is unique and interesting and Eggers clearly has a powerful gift with words. The story is also challenging and thoughtful and I was continually fascinated by the concept. I loved the journey they took, and the juxtaposition Eggers creates between their being both constrained and liberated in their travels.

However, I don’t know if I love the execution. I found it to be a real effort to read and after a c
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I heart Dave Eggers. This book is awesome, especially if you enjoy traveling in obscure countries and dissecting ridiculous adventures for meaning. Eggers' style is very sticky and his humor is right in my wheelhouse. I liked this book significantly more than "A Heartbreaking Work..." (which was a fun read nonetheless). Something about the fact that it's a true novel and not quite as self-indulgent and autobiographical.

Anyway, I only feel slightly silly saying this is one of my favorite books. A
Remember those intoxicated days of the the early 2000's financial boom? Positive thinking? Anything was possible? There would always be more money round the corner? Somehow you'd always get by?

Or perhaps you weren't quite feeling it, and scoffed at this stuff like Billy Bragg dismissing a decade of glorious synthpop and silly clothes in one anti-Thatcher tirade. Though, on the basis of cosmic ordering infomercials featuring Noel Edmonds, and Kirsty and Phil's Pickfords porn, who could blame you?
Jun 21, 2007 rated it liked it
There's something a little frustrating about Dave Eggers. I genuinely think that he is a wonderful, gifted writer. He captures certain moments so completely and beautifully that I'm astounded past the point of envy. But he doesn't know when to quit. This is a fault I'm finding in a lot of contemporary writers like Michael Chabon and David Foster Wallace; as gifted as they are, they seem to lose their focus in the enjoyment of hearing/reading themselves. Wallace is particularly bad at this (I don ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
A strange one for me. I was bored, then intrigued, then bored again, then excited, then disappointed. I didn't like the the narrator or his sidekick who were 27 but came across like 12 year old boys. The Boo Hoo factor was pretty forced. But I loved a few sections. So there. I do like how the 3 Eggers books I've read as of this moment have had very distinct vibes. He's definitely someone I'll keep reading. ...more
Mar 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
The thing I remember most strongly about this book is just toodling along, minding my own business, and then boom! pow! meta! mmmmmmmetametametameta! META!. Did Dave Eggers invent meta? For me, he invented meta. And no one, before or after or since or whenever, will come close to giving me that gasping shocked awe. Fuck off, haters; I love him so so so.
May 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
Legitimately, probably the worst novel I've ever read. Neither interesting nor intellectually intriguing, it seems Eggers debut novel was meant to satisfy nothing more than his public posture.
Take a deep breath all you uninteresting white males: your story is not unique, your suffering is not beautiful. You are a selfish asshole, just like everyone else, yet without fail an infinite number of these "cerebral" authors sublimate their own perceived struggles into meaningless, emotionless, and r
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
My favorable impression of this book is based partly on hearing Dave Eggers speak at the Newport Beach Library. I found his regular-guy persona to be very charismatic, his commitment to the work of the "826" tutoring centers to be inspiring, and his enthusiasm for the written word to be refreshing.

"Velocity" is funny and touching, and not what I expected (in a good way). The blurbs say this is a story about a couple of guys who travel around the world in order to give away $32,000 in one week. S
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: popular-culture
I’ve been reading You Shall Know Our Velocity (currently re-titled to Sacrament) for over a month. Usually, when school is out, and it is, I average about a week to a week and a half on any given book. I haven’t finished it and I must tell you, the problem isn’t me. For once.

I’m half-way through the book and thus far, aside from traveling to a few countries and trying to tape money on goats (I’m pretty sure it was goats), nothing has happened. I know that the main character’s face is severely me
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Though this book is compared to On The Road, the similarities stop at both books being about travelling. While Kerouac describes, with compassion and care, his fellow human beings, Eggers draws broad sketches of the people he meets.

The main character, Will, doesn't change. The most worthwhile conversations he has are in his own mind, in which he makes up responses for the people he is talking to. This does absolutely nothing to further the plot.

There are some truly beautiful moments in the book
I read the book, read the reviews, found out that I completely missed what I think was a major plot point. That couldn't be, because I read it from cover to cover and enjoyed it immensely. I then realized that the version of the book I read was later revised, with an additional segment, with the major plot point. Duh. Thanks Eggers, quirky author you. I'm all for gimmicks, but honestly.

I'm not sure I understood what Will and Hand stood for, since not much of their actions have a background, not
Stephen Gallup
Apr 18, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Dave Eggers writes beautifully, yet his novel never seems to inspire any connection between the reader and the characters. The plot line seemed familiar, two young men, without plans traveling the world. The impetus for the trip seems to be the death of a childhood friend. The two remaining friends, the main Character who hasn't done much with his life and Hand, a good looking, risk taking, non motivated individual decide to give away a large sum of cash that the main character has acquired. The ...more
Kate Z
Jul 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I will start this by saying "I love Dave Eggers." My next thought is that his editor(s) all too often don't do him any favors. This thought is not my own - the credit goes to my friend Joanna who said it first - but this 400 page novel should have been maybe 250 pages. I thought the same was true for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. With that said, there was a lot (too much!) that I loved about this novel. My real complaint about the novel is that there was too much of it.

I understand
Carl R.
May 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
I usually don’t blog books I don’t like, but You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers deserves special treatment because it proved such a disappointment. The opening sentence is one of the best I’ve ever seen (The caps are from the text itself.)

Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm not sure if I'm cut out for postmodern literature. Dave Eggers much-celebrated first novel (after the pseudo-memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) follows two friends who decide to travel around the world for a week, giving away approximately $32,000 randomly. The premise is certainly interesting, and the writing is often entertaining, but I think it occasionally was too aware of itself to really be a great novel.

The story is really one about grief - the grief these two friends s
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
To start off with, this is one of my favourite book titles in recent memory. It's commanding without being threatening and I find its implications very poetic. Sadly, but also luckily, I suspect there will be few, if any, times in my life where it is appropriate to announce "You shall know our velocity."

But onto the book. Given the inevitability of this review going viral, I'll insert my **Spoiler Alert!** here.

I didn't start out loving this book, for a few reasons. Firstly the premise (two youn
May 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i love dave eggers. this is the main character describing how his mind works (he sits at a desk at the top of a grassy hill overlooking a meadow and stream, and the library is inside the hill and is staffed by little pale, oily, hairless people that look like moles):

"And as much as I value the efficiency and professional elan of the library staff, I'd begun recently to worry about a new wrinkle in their procedures. For the most part, they're supposed to act on my requests when I make requests, a
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Two close friends decide to travel around the world in a week and give away $32,000 to random people. This includes creating a treasure map for children in Estonia and delivering a bouquet of flowers to a sleeping family in Senegal. Their adventures are comical, and easy to relate to if you've ever gone on a trip with not much planning. The results of this journey are unexpected eye-opening experiences and a few disappointments (Morocco looks a little like Arizona). Through all their travels and ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm surprised I hadn't heard more about this one prior to picking it up. You Shall Know has Eggers in top form. Never mind all the clever metafictional pyrotechnics (all of which are very well done, by the way)--within lies everything you'd want in a novel. Laughter a-plenty, beautiful prose, wonderfully executed dialogue, passages that you'll want to read back two, three, four times. I've found through Goodreads that my fatal weakness as a book-reviewer is that when I really like something, I o ...more
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Welllllll.....What I loved about this book was the imagination, the humor, and the inspiration. Eggers must have had a great time writing this, his first novel. But geez, where was the editor. I could have lost 100 pages--esp. in the last 1/4. I skimmed the last eighth of the novel and I doubt I missed anything. There were hilarious, laugh out loud scenes. It just needed an editor on board who, well, edited. So the four stars is for the imagination and the sense of humor and heartfelt insanity. ...more
Michael Eppelheimer
Strange, fun, sad, compelling

If you’ve ever travelled free, with a backpack and not too many plans, this will often feel very familiar. The strangeness, the confusion, the emotion. It’s not often you feel totally rudderless and this book captures that compellingly. If you’ve loved and hated and lost friends forever, this will feel familiar. If you’re not sure why we are here and why you have so much more than many on the planet, this will feel familiar. If you’ve felt insane joy at losing yourse
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Goodreads Librari...: Page number correction ISBN 1400033543 3 24 Apr 12, 2014 03:37PM  

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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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