I had read my first Dave Eggers’ book with no knowledge of who he was. You Shall Know Our Velocity intrigued me with its characters weird motives, and the style of writing where Eggers uses a general stream of thought of the narrator to hold the reader’s hand until the end. Have you ever been on a drive with someone you vaguely trust, you weren’t driving, and had no idea where you were being taken? That’s what Velocity is like. It’s hectic and amazing.
Since then, I have been an intern at 826michigan, which is a non-profit that Dave Eggers started. I guess I had a type of affinity beginning for him, so I started to snatch his books up whenever I found them. Partly because I loved Velocity and partly because I was a writing intern at a company of his, and him being a writer I thought it only made sense to see more of what his writing was like.
A couple months ago, before moving to Australia, I had found his book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, at a thrift store and bought it, planning to devour it soon. Well, being busy with moving got in the way so I never got to read it, and didn’t bring it with me. But of course… the book gods were looking out for me (as they always are) when I walked into my first bookstore in Australia and found the book used, for $8.
Needless to say, I now own two copies of the book, and I’m not even ashamed! I just finished reading it (more like devouring it- I could hardly put it down) and need need need to tell the world how interesting Eggers’ style continues to be. The book is a memoir. It makes you feel like you’re sitting down with the author while he’s telling you everything. He’s explicitly telling you all of the metaphors, he’s acting as if you’re there, as if he’s still there in that time. You watch him produce thought after thought that sometimes doesn’t connect to the next sentence, but definitely alludes to something 15 sentences ago. This style only contributes to the narrator’s mental state throughout the memoir.
Maybe I just like messy things. His books are messy which is real to me, they connect you with the characters inner thoughts (whose are never messy?) and the events in their life (also always personally messy, right?). The books just make sense on a human level.
It would make even more sense for you to read them. They’re different than any other book you’ve read, promise.