A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

About the book

The literary sensation of the year, a book that redefines both family and narrative for the twenty-first century. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. Here is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.

Reviewed by Jennie’s FriendsĀ Reading Group:

Not an easy read. Well written and showing great insight and understanding of a young man’s problems when dealing with his parents death and the consequent responsibility for his younger brother’s upbringing. Tongue in cheek at times.

Star rating: ***

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4 thoughts on “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers”

  1. Review by Queen Mary’s College Library Reading Group:
    An intriguing beginning with a very dark, moving account of a death. Most of us initially enjoyed the description of an older brother trying to raise his much younger sibling in California. Nothing much developed or changed though and we found it difficult to read as the form, language and narrative structure were terribly self-indulgent. The ideas were good, but it was far too long-winded.
    Rating: **

  2. Review by Queen Mary’s College Library Reading Group:
    An intriguing beginning with a very dark, moving account of a death. Most of us initially enjoyed the description of an older brother trying to raise his much younger sibling in California. Nothing much developed or changed though and we found it difficult to read as the form, language and narrative structure were terribly self-indulgent. The ideas were good, but it was far too long-winded.
    Rating: **

  3. Review by Whitchurch Reading Group:
    The group was divided. Some wonderful descriptions and clear pictures of his thought processes. However, most of the group found the book self-indulgent and rambling. Did he have an editor?
    Star rating: **

  4. Review by Libretto, Hayling Library Reading Group:
    Unaninmously disliked. Found to be depressing and too graphic in the Mother’s illness. No story. A number of the group declined to finish the book.
    Rating: 1 Star

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