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am 23. März 2016
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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am 13. Juli 2016
Eine dieser Geschichten von Problemen eines weißen, mittelalten Mittelschichtsmannes, der absolut unsympathisch & gänzlich nicht nachvollziehbar ist.
Als Buch in normaler Buchqualität.
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am 1. April 2016
It came a bit late, but still well done, it did do a long way from Missouri to Berlin (Germany) and snail mail isn't what it used to be and security and all that s**t between the together growing globe. Book's in good condition just as advertised
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TOP 500 REZENSENTam 27. August 2005
"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. Es ist der offene, teils brutal ehrliche, Erfahrungsbericht eines jungen Menschen, der unverschuldet in eine Ausnahmesituation geraten ist, sich aber dennoch seine Liebe zum Leben bewahrt hat.
Auch wenn sich Eggers in seinem Nachwort gegenüber Kategorisierungen wie, zum Beispiel, "postmodern" verwahrt, spielt er im Verlaufe der gesamten Geschichte mit postmodernen Elementen. Zu Beginn gibt er dem Leser diverse Ratschläge, wie er das Buch zu lesen hat, welche Kapitel entscheidend seien und welche man ruhigen Gewissens überspringen könne. Es folgt ein Kapitel über die Hauptthemen und Motive seiner Biographie und zuletzt eine tabellarische Übersicht über die Bedeutung von einigen Symbolen und Metaphern (Sun=Mother; Nosebleed=Decay, zum Beispiel).
Auch während der Geschichte selbst erläutert Eggers immer wieder, warum er dies Ereignis jetzt so dargestellt hat, wie er es dargestellt hat und wie er es auch anders hätte präsentieren können. Für Freunde einer genauen Analyse drängt sich die Einordnung von A.H.W.O.S.G. unter den Oberbegriff postmodern also geradezu auf. Doch er zieht diese Elemente dermaßen durch den Kakao, dass es eigentlich recht schnell klar wird, was Eggers wirklich will und was er dann ja auch im Nachwort deutlich macht: er will die Wahrheit, seine Wahrheit, über sich, sein Leben und seinen Bruder vermitteln. Und diese Wahrheit sei für den Leser, der bereit ist zu verstehen, jenseits aller Kategoresierungswut, zu erreichen.
Fazit: Eggers gehört mir Jonathan Safran Foer zu der neuen Gilde junger amerikanischer Autoren, die uralte menschliche Themen wie Trauer, Leid und Tod auf eine neue, mitreißende Art bearbeiten: ohne Kitsch, ohne ständiges Tränenfließen, ohne Selbstmitleid, sondern, trotz aller Härten und Ungerechtigkeiten, mit einer immer spürbaren Liebe zum Leben.
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am 17. Juli 2012
In diesem Buch verarbeitet der Autor den Tod seiner Eltern und erzählt wie er als Zwanzigjähriger seinen kleinen Bruder groß ziehen muss. Das ist ein ernstes Thema - das Eggers aber in einem unheimlich witzigen Stil beschreibt. Es ist lustig, wie er versucht mit allem klar zu kommen und sowohl als Elternteil als auch als jemand, der mal Zwanzigf war, findet man sich wieder. Gleichzeitig ist das Buch natürlich auch traurig, denn den Tod der Eltern ist schon sehr tragisch und so manches Mal bleibt einem das Lachenim Halse stecken.
Trotz ein paar Längen und zwangsläufiger Wiederholungen (das ist ja hier weitestgehend eine reale Geschichte und die verläuft entsprechend wenig actionreich) ein empfehlenswertes Buch!
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am 11. Juni 2000
Oh dear. This is a definite case of too much hype and not enough substance.
While Eggers comes accross as affable enough, he's also too annoyingly arch and egocentric, too aware of his youth and (so-called) beauty and indomitability to be a likeable hero. In a word - he's bigheaded and spends most of the book defending this as his fundamental right.
Some of the writing is good, and the first hundred pages are inspired. His account of his mother's decline and his father's fading away are moving and funny, and very real; if Eggers had maintained that mixture of humour and human appeal, then this would have been a great book. The rules for enjoying the book are clever, and his anarchic approach to how you actually go about starting a book is incredibly funny and refreshing. But as he warns, these are the only good bits - the rest of the book is very, very tedious.
We want to hear about how his brother does, but apart from brief snippets of info which give us clues as to how he is devloping in these unusual circumstances (the marvelous models of Jesus that he makes) Eggers seems to forget the premise of the book (Big brother looks after little brother after parents dies) and ignores Toph woefully to tell us at length about how great it is to be young and free in America. You get the feeling that Toph would have managed to write a much more interesting version of the story. We'd also like to read more about how Dave copes, his emotions and thoughts and feelings, but we just get more banality about his rather boring escapades in publishing and TV which really, I promise are merely the self interested outpourings of a kid who watched too much MTV and not even nearly as interesting as you'd expect.
After making myself finish the book, I felt cheated. I wasn't seriously expecting this to be a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, but I did hope that there's be a little more heartbreak, or a little more genius in it than there actually is. Perhaps Eggers found it difficult or unnecessary to write at length about what it is to lose both parents and be left literally holding the baby. He shouldn't have to -there are plenty of other books out there telling painfully real stories of human suffering to make another one superfluous. However, what I really felt disappointed about was that this book promises the reader one thing, and then goes on to deliver something totally and disappointingly different.
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am 13. Februar 2000
When I started reading this book, I thought that the preface and acknowlegements were just about the funniest things I had ever read in my life. I laughed out loud so many times that the people around me on the airplane kept leaning over to see the title of the book. Then when I got to the first chapter, I settled into reading one of the best stories ever about: life, death, love, responsiblity, yearning, and success. Even though some of this book discusses a very particular generational attitude -- Generation X in the mid-90's -- I think that anyone of any geneneration will enjoy this book because it, more importatnly, deals with universal themes, and because the writing itself is so great. This must become an OPRAH pick!
I know it's horrible to say, but I ENVY Dave Eggers! I was jealous that he had this story in him without having to concoct a tall tale. I was even more jealous that he could hang out and play with his little brother, eat whatever they wanted, never clean up, start a humour magazine just for fun not for profit, sleep with Sari Locker, and then write a book about all of it in some of the best prose that I have read. It seems like his life was made by the fact that his parents died. But then whenever I'd feel jealous of him, I'd realize how sick that is. He completely involved me in his story, to the point that I wanted to BE him, then he slapped me in the face for feeling that way. He is an incredibly great writer!
Before I had finished reading the book, I knew that it was going to become an instant best seller and a classic...not only because it is such a skilled work, but also because I had told half the people on the plane that they must buy this book. Everyone who reads it must be telling so many people to buy it. That's how I heard about it. You must buy it and read it.
One more thing: when I was finished reading it, I decided to read the terrific preface and introduction again, because they were so funny; then I could not believe it, but I started reading the whole book again! I have never in my life read a book twice in a row. With this book, it is unavoidable. You will too. Enjoy it. Oh, yeah, the following sentence will surely become a much quoted classic line to anyone in the know (and even more so, when this book is made into a movie). Here is a drawing of a stapler.
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am 10. März 2000
I was entertained by the book over all and enjoyed it. HOWEVER. Eggers pretends to be very honest and forthright, but avoids talking about the important relationships in his life, to wit:
*with Toph, especially, (surely he is a bit resentful that he has to care for this kid? Sometimes?) * his sister * his right-wing brother * his girlfriend ETC.
After reading 300 pages or so, we really have no idea what these people are like. We have no clue at the outset why he is the one who takes care of his brother rather than one of his older siblings. We have no more insight into this pretty central issue by the end of the book, either. Another example: we have no idea why he breaks up with his girlfriend.
At the end of the book, it seems like maybe the book is supposed to be about his relationship with his parents, but we don't even have a great feel for them by the end. He spends much too much time self-obsessing, and that may be ok for a recently-traumatized, somwhat immature 20-year-old, but it doesn't make for very interesting reading.
I was reminded of another book about death and caring for children that is more truthful, more compelling (and funnier!): Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott.
Also, he has the gall to insult SF.
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am 2. Mai 2000
I had a hard time deciding if I liked this book or not. At times, it droned on endlessly until I was ready to give up on it entirely, but then Eggers would write something that was hysterically funny so I'd keep going. In Egger's own words: "The first three or four chapters are all [some] will want to bother with." This warning intrigued me enough to keep reading and I found that although the subsequent chapters do lag a little more than the first four, there are several parts that make it worth reading. I would, however, recommend skimming his recap of the "Real World" interveiw which lasts from pg 162-208. There are a few noteworthy highlights mixed in with a lot of babble. I'd also suggest skipping the last chapter altogether. The next to last chapter makes for a much cleaner ending, while the final chapter is disjointed, confusing, and adds little to the story. Most disturbingly, in the last couple of pages, the author changes from the sorrowful but lighthearted and sarcastic tone that carries through most of the book to one that's angry and hateful. One final note, Egger's abundant use of profanity is also likely to put some people off. So consider yourself warned.
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am 29. Februar 2000
I read this book during a three day bout with the new and improved Killer Flu, and it's better than you could ever imagine. The last few pages left me literally breathless.
If you know the name Seymour Glass, you will love this book. The question you'll be left asking: when does this guy tour? He completely involved me in his story, to the point that I wanted to BE him, then he sneezed in my face for feeling that way. I'm not even through chapter two, so you know you are getting a (version) of a life faced with unique illnesses.
An American classic cut from the cloth of all American classics, yet woven together into a post-modern bandage of stunning originality, this is one thriller that will blow you through the back wall of the pharmacy. Yet as retold in Eggers own glittering prose, these familiar scenes come alive with the sights, the sounds, the diseases of a bygone era.
<< Above sentences are clips of other reviews, patched together in a Benedryl-induced fog >>
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