I was really uncertain what to expect with this book. There seemed to be a lot of strong reactions, both positive and negative. After finishing the book I understand why so many people seem to despise the book, and why others (like myself) love it.
Before even reaching the first page of the novel there is an acknowledgment page, well pages. The acknowledgment section is multiple pages of small print ravings. Eggers explains that you are more than welcome to skip this section. I recommend that you do not. It is long, but it is also humorous and will set the tone for the novel yet to come.
A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius is about as pompously and as self-centered as the title suggests. Eggers is a twenty-something year old who not only has to find his own way in life, he is doing so while coming to terms with death and parenting his younger brother. It can be seen as a coming of age novel where the narrator has to figure out how to live with death. Or, maybe it is a novel about death where the living are brought along as side characters. Either way, the book truly is genius.
It is also eccentric. If you are looking for a more traditional narrative structure or a more mature and likable main character, then you will probably passionately hate this novel. If you are looking for something that pushes the envelope, that looks at novel writing as an art form and isn't afraid to show the world in all its gory truth then you will probably love this book as much as I do.
This site may contain affiliate links, these links refer back to products. They do not cost the consumer any additional money. They do help fund the blog. In addition, some books may be provided to the site for free in exchange for an honest review, others come from the library, others are obtained for free off Amazon, some come from my private purchase. Regardless of how the books were obtained all reviews are my honest opinion.