A Hologram for the King The power of this thing sneaks up on you slowly. That's partly because A Hologram For the King is not the first novel you've read… A Hologram for the King The power of this thing sneaks up on you slowly. That's partly because A Hologram For the King is not the first novel you've read… 2012-06-19 Fiction McSweeney's
Book Review

A Hologram For the King (2012)

Chris Cleave | 'KINGLY' READ Eggers manages to turn the trope of the ailing middle-aged male seeking a financial comeback on its head, producing an unforgettable read
Image credit: McSweeney's Publishing
'KINGLY' READ Eggers manages to turn the trope of the ailing middle-aged male seeking a financial comeback on its head, producing an unforgettable read
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Jun 19, 2012; Writer: Dave Eggers; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: McSweeney's

The power of this thing sneaks up on you slowly. That's partly because A Hologram For the King is not the first novel you've read about a middle-aged American male who's in desperate need of a financial and emotional comeback and who's got an intense physical ailment that stands in for soul sickness. But it's also because, to his credit, Eggers has evolved into the least showy or heavy-handed of writers — this is a guy who clearly thinks that adverbs are empty carbs. Our antihero, Alan Clay, is in Saudi Arabia trying to snag a giant tech contract from King Abdullah and futzing with a weird lump on his neck. Waiting for the king, however, is like waiting for Godot. While Alan cools his heels, he bonds with memorably drawn locals; has some adventures that illuminate the tragicomedy that is globalism; and gets us meditating on what appears to be the theme of Eggers' own life, as well as of his many quiet philanthropies: How can we all get over ourselves long enough to really, truly notice other people? A-

Originally posted Jul 04, 2012 Published in issue #1215 Jul 13, 2012 Order article reprints
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