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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. September 2007

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Amazon.de

At the age of 22, Dave 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 labour, Dave is appointed unofficial guardian of his eight-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 fun and performing bizarre developmental experiments on him. (Case in point: his idea of suitable bedtime reading is John Hersey's Hiroshima.) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is also, perhaps less successfully, about being young and hip and out to conquer the world (in an ironic, media-savvy, Generation-X way, naturally). In the early 1990s, 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 Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius 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. 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

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

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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.
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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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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers ist eine schöne Story, zweier Brüder auf Findungsreise. Eggers Schreibstil ist sehr angenehm zu lesen und die Geschicht ist sehr emotional und durchdacht
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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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