A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King In a rising Saudi Arabian city far from weary recession scarred America a struggling businessman pursues a last ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure pay his daughter s college tuition and final

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter s college tuition, and finally do something great In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in theIn a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter s college tuition, and finally do something great In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy s gale force winds This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment and a moving story of how we got here.

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A Hologram for the King

  1. 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 Concern , and a monthly magazine, The Believer McSweeney s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world Eggers is the co founder of 826 National, a network of eight tutoring centers around the country and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible He lives in Northern California with his family.

644 Reply to “A Hologram for the King”

  1. BLAH I m going to need the publishing industry to start putting on warning labels for Modern American Middle Aged Upper Middle Class White Male Pathetic Protagonists, because I am all done with them No crazy bitch ex wives, no weird medical issues that strike at their sense of mortality, no managing to bang poorly hotter younger ladies who are also, of course, crazy even during their downward spiral, no disconnect with their flighty and disappointed children, no random heavy drinking or dru [...]

  2. A perfectly enjoyable, effortlessly proceeding, airily formatted, short novel It s not really 312 pages, like 250 with lots of extraneous white space between frequently occurring sections A tone so accessible it almost seemed like a YA version of some classic salesmanzy novel teleported to 2010 Saudi Arabia Loved the inclusion of nonfictional bits like about Schwinn s fall and the blast resistant glass for the Freedom Tower made in China Loved the snorkeling frolic and didn t really mind the en [...]

  3. This is what I imagine Dave Eggers thought process was like in composing Hologram I want to write another novel Haven t done that in a little while.But I want it to be socially relevant, a commentary like Zeitoun.But it would be so obvious if my protagonist were another clear victim of global catastrophe, like Zeitoun or What is the What.I know I ll make him seem like one of globalization s possible bad guys an American businessman who s helped bring the catastrophe on himself Except he still ge [...]

  4. Update This is an old review almost 4 years old If you haven t read this book it s a quick readenjoyable ,You might consider it before seeing the movie which is being released in weeks ahead Tom Hanks we went to the same High School , is playing the lead in this film adapted from Dave Eggers book Dave Eggers seems to have an excellent understanding of the many problems we face in today s world Yet, instead of forcing facts down our throats he creates a story line the context , in which we can di [...]

  5. UPDATE 10 10 12 NBA finalist Give me a break Hey, Dave Eggers has a new book out and it looks wonderful What s it about Who cares, it s a lovely book to hold.And that s probably the most exceptional thing about the novel McSweeney s has continued to impress me with the effort and care that they put into the packaging and physicalness of their books Maybe the publishing industry should take note of what they re doing and start copying it Now for the story A mid fifties businessman struggling both [...]

  6. Back in the early 70s a co worker of mine shipped off to Saudi Arabia to take a job as a construction project manager for the giant company building King Khalid Military City John was supporting three ex wives, and he decided making triple his U.S salary, with no way to spend it and living beyond reach of the telephone, was preferable to his current state A year or so later, he returned for a visit and dropped by the office He showed us pictures of his home in a remote part of the Saudi desert, [...]

  7. In the late 60 s my father, who was a pilot, was approached about taking over the Saudi Arabia route, with a not inconsiderable jump in salary, plus other bonuses, paying our mortgage for the period of time we were gone, paying for whatever place we lived in there, or where my parents would have lived My brothers and I would have been sent to various places for school, for me it would have been Switzerland, a boarding school My father proceeded to remind us of the differences in the customs, inc [...]

  8. I really disliked this I preordered it from last July after reading glowing reviews in newspapers and magazines Other goodreaders commented that it was another self indulgent exercise in navel gazing by an angry white American male, but I dismissed them as too harsh until I read it Now I m in that camp, too I really admired another novel in this vein calledDear American Airlines, but this one never lived up to the hype I found the plot to be sketchy and the characters underdeveloped Alan, the na [...]

  9. A book that I liked and disliked at times so I m not quite sure yet how to rate Between 3 and 4 Can t really bring it to 4 stars Alan Clay, an ageing business man with money problems, is in Saudi Arabia to present the newest IT technology, including a hologram to the King While struggling with his personal issues, lack of sleep, problems with his daughter, and a growth in his neck that worries him, he and the team wait for the King This is what the author says So I d been thinking about this guy [...]

  10. Conscientious moralist and all round Good Egg er Dave Eggers in another era might be literary kryptonite In these times, writers like Eggers who are devoted to giving voice to the voiceless need to be respected in spite of the contemptuous hauteur of educated neurotics like me who delight in turning our schnozes heavenward at this sort of thing Even in the event of prose streamlined to within an inch of its life that wears its Beckett homage like a proud badge stating I M DOING A WAITING FOR GOD [...]

  11. A brilliant snapshot of the times Lean, but powerful, and at times beautiful, Eggers does what he does best captures the anxiety, humanity, and confusion of living in a world where the lines of country and culture are slowly eroding I felt it was perfect that Eggers used a Beckett quote at the beginning of the book The book is bleak and tragicomic, like much of Beckett s work, yet very much focused on the human condition Eggers brilliantly illustrates the absurdity and surreal nature of life, an [...]

  12. It s two and a half stars, really Almost three needs a rating for Meh because that s pretty much my reaction to it Is it well written Yes Is it topical and relevant to our particular historical moment, this tale of a former manufacturing executive in existential crisis who finds himself in Saudi Arabia hoping to win an IT contract for the newly founded and still unfinished King Abdullah Economic City Yes Is it our mistaken belief as Americans who once made good product but have since outsourced [...]

  13. It is 2010, and Alan Clay is waiting Not for Godot, but for King Abdullah, in the King Abdullah Economic City KAEC , which is a developing Red Sea port in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia He is a 54 year old failed American businessman in serious debt, evading his creditors and anguishing over how he will pay for his daughter s next year in college He also has an angry ex wife and a worrying lump on his neck This is his last hurrah, a chance to turn his life from sad and broke to flush and secure, if he and [...]

  14. I was lured by the cover and the title I was hoping for a quick, fun, brilliant story that would give me some insight into Saudi Arabia and international business Big mistake I found a French movie from the 70s instead Seriously a French Movie from the 70s, one of those where nothing happens, and actors are trying to convey despair in thousand of different ways, but all they can express is boredom But hey If you have a sudden craving for a story about a weak, self pitying, sad, aimless loser who [...]

  15. This book is about a character slowly imploding into his own manias It reads like the memoir of a 21st century Willy Loman, so readers will either love or hate it Thrust into a foreign country while battling his inner demons, the protagonist makes it clear that this is a do or die sales opportunity Everything in his life somehow hinges on making this business deal go through I happened to like the morosely interesting insights from a man caught in the grip of a debilitating, paralyzing mid life [...]

  16. Well, the hardcover edition has a pretty cover The plot also looks interesting in summary as well.The rest is just a disappointment Eggers style, a vast improvement over AHWOSG and used to great effect in Zeitoun, seems oddly flat here The setting is a flat caricature of Saudi Arabia, with a deformed businessman somehow seducing two women over there, one Danish, one Saudi , earning a large commission while simultaneously moping about the end of the American Dream and the Yellow Menace of the Chi [...]

  17. I read this book professionally but, as part of the Eggers faithful, I was looking forward to it on a personal level ever since I first heard rumours of it existing It proved itself worthy pretty damned quick.The plot is a simple one an American man travels to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to sell holographic technology to the King What the book is really about is the state of the U.S following the recession, with a hypothesis on how it got to where it is today, and how it is affecting th [...]

  18. Dave Eggers I know right You weren t quite expecting that 22,421 Ratings 2,730 ReviewsI mean, there are worse candidates for that level of popularity And it s only his sixth most popular book His first one, which I ve read my only Egger so far and much enjoyed, gets up in the 100,000 range Frankly, I can t fathom that kind of massive readership.Dude turns out a book yearly And of course that s not all He s got the whole publishing thing down I really don t know where his eternal literary reputat [...]

  19. I was off to a very enjoyable start with this book However, I became utterly distracted by some very obvious things that were not caught by a copy editor I suspect that there was no editor It was mostly inconsistencies On one page a character is having a phone conversation with his ex wife and then several pages later he tells us that he hasn t spoken with her by phone for two years.The character arrives at a location at noon He has a couple of meetings, watches a film, gets a tour, and meets ma [...]

  20. A Hologram for the King proves that Eggers forte is non fiction A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Zeitoun or, at least, fiction based on non fictional events What Is the What Unfortunately, whenever Eggers tries to concoct a compelling novel, he falls flat See Hologram, as well as You Shall Know Our Velocity Eggers heart and soul are as big as they come It s seems obvious to me that the early deaths of his parents affected him deeply and have determined the course of his work an exte [...]

  21. I like Dave Eggers new novel, Hologram For a King, mostly because it profiles a loser in the amazing race of advanced capitalism Alan, individualist and good capitalist, finds himself at middle age being pushed aside He makes career changes to profit from the rapid global economic shifts from saleman, to corporate manager to downsizer But it hasn t worked for him When the novel opens he s on the edge of economic collapse, but still dreaming of catching the brass ring He s hired as a consultant b [...]

  22. First things first I love Dave Eggers s work and admire all that he has done as a writer, publisher, public intellectual, social commentator, brother, savior, and believer in the the power of books I also loved the physical book itself Holding the beautifully textured linen cover of Hologram was great Incised and dusted with gold, its feel was a tactile pleasure not often found in today s reading universe, and it was a marvelously apt visual image for the story within.Ah, but the story within an [...]

  23. nytimes 2012 07 22 boo This may all sound a little too much like metaphor or romanticism but Eggers s sense of loss is hard earned and his feeling for his characters as affectingly real as his epigraph from Beckett It is not every day that we are needed At times, his book reminds one of Douglas Coupland s deeply wistful tales of Generation X s search for belief and direction, at other times of the weightless suburban drifters of Haruki Murakami s world, all but longing in The Wind Up Bird Chroni [...]

  24. Really great read but then the end of the book and the fate of the lead character, Alan Clay, were horrible.I think it s the type of book that seems like it s leading somewhere fascinating and then it has a cynical and harsh doomed limbo ending I m not sure it s the type of book you want to read unless you re the type of person who has absolutely no faith in humanity Or you simply hate businessmen, which I do but even as such, the book is not much than the statement I hate businesspeople and su [...]

  25. Never judge a book by its cover That s what I did with this book and I was very sorry I did The cover is made to look like a hand carved wooden cover on a book you might find in a Middle Eastern bazaar I was also intrigued because the author wrote Zetouin, which is a non fiction story about a muslim man who was falsely imprisoned after Katrina The cover caught me, the slim New Orleans connection reeled me in.I should have known when the description said that the story was elegiac Boy, was it I c [...]

  26. Dave Eggers Goes to Saudi Arabia and Finds a DesertDave Eggers is a phenomenon Author of 17 books and two screenplays, including fiction, nonfiction, and a memoir, several of them best sellers founder of McSweeney s publishing company and co founder of the celebrated literacy project 826 Valencia, the man is only 42 at this writing I m envious and a little in awe Well, maybe a lot in awe In A Hologram for the King, Eggers inserts himself into the psyche of Alan Clay, a latter day Willy Loman, a [...]

  27. A hint of Dave Egger s ambitious theme can be gleaned right from the title A hologram is a three dimensional photographic image that appears to have depth in reality, it is only an illusion.Alan Clay his very name suggests an unformed man is illusionary in many ways himself A quintessential American salesman, with wisps of Willy Loman, Alan has sold actual objects to actual people , at Fuller Brush and later at Schwinn When we meet up with him, he is deeply in debt, a divorced middle aged man wi [...]

  28. I bought a pristine trade paperback copy of A Hologram For the King for 50 cents at the library, based on the strength of the blurbs and review quotes on the back of the book In six centuries, the Mona Lisa hasn t gotten as much praise as Hologram received in 2012 This is one of those praise roll calls that starts on the back cover and moves to the first eight pages of the inside cover And I had two quarters burning a hole in my pocket, so I was sold.And, yeah, overall it was an accessible, grip [...]

  29. Well, this is a moody little book that will make you want to walk around a park for a while and think about until the oil falls out of the gears in your brain I read the screenplay to the movie he wrote and was so offended by the stage directions, I broke up with him forever in my mind I mean I loved that movie so much I wanted to run up and down things and destroy stuff, and to read the stage directions, I was like oh, what I didn t realize is that Dave hates me, thinks I m some kind of a rube [...]

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