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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Dave Eggers
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Kurzbeschreibung

21. September 2007
'Heartbreaking? Certainly. Staggering? Yes, I'd say so. And if genius is capturing the universal in a fresh and memorable way, call it that too' Anthony Quinn, Sunday Times 'Is this how all orphans would speak -- "I am at once pitiful and monstrous, I know" -- if they had Dave Eggers's prodigious linguistic gifts? For he does write wonderfully, and this is an extremely impressive debut' John Banville, Irish Times 'A virtuosic piece of writing, a big, daring, manic-depressive stew of a book that noisily announces the debut of a talented -- yes, staggeringly talented -- new writer' -- Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'Exhilarating ...Profoundly moving, occasionally angry and often hilarious ...A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly' -- New York Times Book Review 'What is really shocking and exciting is the book's sheer rage. AHWOSG is truly ferocious, like any work of genius. Eggers -- self-reliant, transcendent, expansive -- is Emerson's ideal Young American. [The book] does itself justice: it is a settling of accounts. And it is almost too good to be believed' -- London Review of Books 'A hilarious book ...In it, literary gamesmanship and self-consciousness are trained on life's most unendurable experience, used to examine a memory too scorching to stare at, as one views an eclipse by projecting sunlight onto paper through a pinhole' -- Time 'Eggers evokes the terrible beauty of youth like a young Bob Dylan, frothing with furious anger ...He takes us close, shows us as much as he can bear ...His book is a comic and moving witness that transcends and transgresses formal boundaries' -- Washington Post

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 496 Seiten
  • Verlag: Picador (21. September 2007)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0330456717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330456715
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 19,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (171 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 39.734 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

Dave Eggers is a terrifically talented writer; don't hold his cleverness against him. What to make of a book called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Based on a True Story? For starters, there's a good bit of staggering genius before you even get to the true story, including a preface, a list of "Rules and Suggestions for Enjoyment of This Book," and a 20-page acknowledgements section complete with special mail-in offer, flow chart of the book's themes, and a lovely pen-and-ink drawing of a stapler (helpfully labeled "Here is a drawing of a stapler:").

But on to the true story. At the age of 22, Eggers became both an orphan and a "single mother" when his parents died within five months of one another of unrelated cancers. In the ensuing sibling division of labor, Dave is appointed unofficial guardian of his 8-year-old brother, Christopher. The two live together in semi-squalor, decaying food and sports equipment scattered about, while Eggers worries obsessively about child-welfare authorities, molesting babysitters, and his own health. His child-rearing strategy swings between making his brother's upbringing manically fun and performing bizarre developmental experiments on him. (Case in point: his idea of suitable bedtime reading is John Hersey's Hiroshima.)

The book is also, perhaps less successfully, about being young and hip and out to conquer the world (in an ironic, media-savvy, Gen-X way, naturally). In the early '90s, Eggers was one of the founders of the very funny Might Magazine, and he spends a fair amount of time here on Might, the hipster culture of San Francisco's South Park, and his own efforts to get on to MTV's Real World. This sort of thing doesn't age very well--but then, Eggers knows that. There's no criticism you can come up with that he hasn't put into A.H.W.O.S.G. already. "The book thereafter is kind of uneven," he tells us regarding the contents after page 109, and while that's true, it's still uneven in a way that is funny and heartfelt and interesting.

All this self-consciousness could have become unbearably arch. It's a testament to Eggers's skill as a writer--and to the heartbreaking particulars of his story--that it doesn't. Currently the editor of the footnote-and-marginalia-intensive journal McSweeney's (the last issue featured an entire story by David Foster Wallace printed tinily on its spine), Eggers comes from the most media-saturated generation in history--so much so that he can't feel an emotion without the sense that it's already been felt for him. What may seem like postmodern noodling is really just Eggers writing about pain in the only honest way available to him. Oddly enough, the effect is one of complete sincerity, and--especially in its concluding pages--this memoir as metafiction is affecting beyond all rational explanation. --Mary Park -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Pressestimmen

" This is a beautifully ragged, laugh-out-loud funny and utterly unforgettable book."

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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
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Einleitungssatz
Through the small tall bathroom window the December yard is gray and scratchy, the trees calligraphic. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
Mehr entdecken
Wortanzeiger
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Rückseite
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Kundenrezensionen

Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Nicht herzzerreißend sondern ermutigend 27. August 2005
Von Michael Dienstbier TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Taschenbuch
"And when this book is not winning, attached to it are labels: 'Post' this, or 'meta' that. Oh gosh. Where to start? These are the sort of prefixes used by those without opinions." (34)
So äußerst sich Eggers in dem Nachwort mit der Überschrift "Mistake we knew we were making" über die Vorliebe der heutigen Zeit, alles und jeden in bestimmte Kategorien zu packen. Er bittet die Leser seiner Biographie sich von diesen "meaningless stickers" (ibid.) zu verabschieden und stattdessen: "People, Friends, Please: Trust your Eyes, Trust your Ears, Trust your Art." (ibid.) Es ist dies ein Aufruf an die Leserschaft seiner Lebensgeschichte, sich von eventuellen theoretischen Vorbelastungen frei zu machen und "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" einfach umittelbar auf sich wirken zu lassen. denn: "everyone who actually reads this book, or any book, will understand it." (ibid.)
In A.H.W.O.S.G. beschreibt Dave Eggers den Krebstod seiner beiden Eltern innerhalb von nur 32 Tagen. Er ist zu diesem Zeitpunkt 21 Jahre alt und nun in der Situation, Ersatzvater für seinen neunjährigen Bruder Toph zu sein. Wie er in den kommenden sieben Jahre sein Leben lebt, welche Schwierigkeiten und absurde Situationen ihm begnegen und nicht zuletzt wie er sich bemüht seine eigene Trauer zu überwinden und gleichzeitig versucht, seinem Bruder eine halbwegs "normale" Kindheit zu ermöglichen, ist Thema von Eggers Biographie.
Dabei schafft er, was vor ihm nur wenigen gelungen ist. Deutlich spürt der Leser die Wut, die Trauer, den Hass und die Verzweiflung des Erzählers und dennoch wirkt A.H.W.O.S.G. an keiner Stelle kitschig. An keiner Stelle kommt so etwas wie Selbstmitleid zum Vorschein.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Ingenius Work with Staggering Dumb Ending 2. Juni 2000
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
If ever I come across a book that defies convention, my curiosity gets the better of me and I have to read it. The problem with this tendency is that it usually leads me to a lot of bad books that I refuse to finish. Not this time. Dave Eggers' debut memoir is staggering in its style, innovations, and trials, and simply a lot of fun to read. For months I kept seeing this book eyeing me in bookstores, its corny cover displaying a red velvet drape opening across a Titian-like sky with the "egg" part of the author's name floating over the rising (setting?) sun. One day, I broke down and sent for it and began reading: (page before the title page) "This was uncalled for"; (page before the preface) "Rules and Suggestions for Reading this book: #1. There is no overwhelming need to read the preface...#3. You can skip the table of contents...#6. The book thereafter is uneven..." And then I noticed something: Eggers has written every word--the flap blurbs, the copyright page--and all of it is innovative and entertaining. The table of contents reads like a modern poem, and the 21 page acknowledgement section containing all kinds of slapsticky digressions and a key to the text's metaphors is hysterically funny. With all of the hype and presence this book has inspired, one can't help but read it. Eggers tells the true story of his parents' deaths five months apart which leaves Dave to raise his little brother Toph--the most intriguing character in the tome--and move to Berkeley, California. Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Ego 18. September 2000
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed his book. I think growing up in suburban Chicago, going to the University of Illinois, and being the same age really helped me to identify with his voice. I did not know him, nor do I think I would like to, but reading about his life was a trip. Yes, his tale is heartbreaking. And yes, he has his little made-for-tv moments of rising above it all. But his staggering genius lies in the way he captures the angst, ennui, and levity of life of a twenty-something in the 90's much in the same way as Douglas Coupland of Generation X fame.
The narrative of the book, though easy to read, can raise a few questions. It is easy to get caught up in his tale and as a result there are scenes that appear to be missing. Some of the periphery characters' stories do not carry themselves to completion or are resolved but we do not know how or why. This is where the staggering ego comes in.
There are scenes that are truly hilarious, laugh-out-loud hilarious, and scenes that are just plain embarrassing. I suppose that is the price you pay for making your life public. Something that he was mentally prepared to do when he tried out for MTV's Real World. The reader gets a glimpse of a young man forced to take care of his younger brother at 21, find a job, and find his own identity. An interesting journey.
Note: If you are must read the preface and acknowledgements, read them last. Everything makes a little more sense that way.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Thanks for sharing, Dave 2. Mai 2000
Von Laura
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Dave Eggers breaks a lot of rules in this mostly wonderful book. From the inside front cover flap ("Removed from Chapter 5") through the hysterical transcript of his MTV "Real World" audition, to the Joycean stream-of-consciousness ending, he combines studied pretentiousness with true honor and feeling. It's not always pretty--in fact, it can be brutal, such as the opening description of his mother's horrible death that brought back the smells and agony of my own time sitting beside my father's deathbed. But Eggers has done the right thing--not just by his brother, which was truly important, but by his readers. From our ringside seat we see the chaos, self-loathing, pride, sheer terror, pure joy, and the other conflicting emotions in his life as a twentysomething orphan.
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
4.0 von 5 Sternen Bittersüß
In diesem Buch verarbeitet der Autor den Tod seiner Eltern und erzählt wie er als Zwanzigjähriger seinen kleinen Bruder groß ziehen muss. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 17. Juli 2012 von Peer Sylvester
5.0 von 5 Sternen Kick you in the guts type of black humour - love it!
Not only heartbreaking, although it certainly is that. A true story where Dave Eggers becomes an orphan at a very young age. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 26. Februar 2002 veröffentlicht
1.0 von 5 Sternen A heartfelt comment of pleasurable curtness
God almighty is this boring. Someone compared this guy with Salinger. Oh no. Perhaps they have the same size of shoes, that would be about it. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. Februar 2002 von P. Gurris
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fabulash!
This book is more knee slapping fun than all the Cannon Ball Run movies put together and then played backward during a rainy recess. Dave Eggers IS Gertrude Stein. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 19. September 2000 von GML
5.0 von 5 Sternen Everything Good and Artistic and Crushingly Honest
Having been introduced to David Foster Wallace through his "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men," I picked up Eggers based almost solely on the fact that Wallace... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 28. Juli 2000 von Andrew Bryan Buck
5.0 von 5 Sternen Read This Book!
Enobled by the sadness of his story, Eggers' exhilirating book is always true and good, funny and inventive. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 26. Juli 2000 veröffentlicht
4.0 von 5 Sternen Nothing is permanent
Eggers' off-kilter memoir is insightful, funny and unpredictable. The duties of "parenting" a younger brother fall abruptly to 21 year old Eggers after the death of both... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. Juli 2000 von John Prairie
5.0 von 5 Sternen Gen X Spokesperson
This was a book that touched me. After reading it, I have identified with the author more than I ever have after reading a book. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 26. Juli 2000 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Buy this book
This is the best contemporary book I have read for a long time. The chatty prose is very expressive; Eggers writes clearly about feelings which are not easy to express. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. Juli 2000 von Friday
5.0 von 5 Sternen Buy this book
This book is very fresh and vibrant. It is impossible to put down and everyone I have recommended it to has liked it. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 25. Juli 2000 von Friday
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