Sarah's Reviews > What Is the What

What Is the What by Dave Eggers
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's review
Nov 27, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: biography, africa

This is a strange hybrid biography/autobiography/work of fiction. The framing device is odd as well. He tells us there is a glitch in the computer at the health club where he works that causes the face of the person who had most recently checked in to remain on the monitor until the next person arrived. Similarly, Valentino's story is told to whomever is closest, for as long as that person is close. I found that to be a little distracting, but not in a way that detracted from the events being relayed.
His story is devastating, compelling, and inspiring; it's hard to imagine anyone going through that much hardship and still remaining optimistic. I'm glad his people have such an able spokesman, and I like the way Dave Eggers allowed his own voice to be subsumed for this project.

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