Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Hologram For The King by Dave Eggers

Just finished the book A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers.

I told my wife the other night that if Oprah was a white-man than this would be on his book club list.

But, men don't typically have book clubs and read books together and discuss how they relate to the feelings and experiences of the characters, discuss the themes and plot - so since this is not White Oleander or Where The Heart Is, so maybe it never has the chance to grab that type of group-love.

But instead a story about a middle-aged sales man who goes with a group of young business people to present an energy plan to the king of Saudi Arabia, in hopes of landing a big contract for a new development underway.

So they sit in a tent, waiting for the king to present the hologram presentation. He goes to the hotel. He laments his past, his crazy ex-wife, his career, and globalization. Oh, and he's obsessing about a growth on his neck. It's lovely.

It's well written - it's interesting, even though hardly anything happens.

In many ways, one of the most interesting thing plot wise is the friendship he forms with a Saudi man who drives him between the hotel and the remote future city being developed.

I won't lie, it's the type of book that is an interesting read, because I have to think that despite the unique setting that many cannot relate to personally, the themes, emotions, and life reflections have to resonate with the current American experience.

I'm not sure the story would grab all readers, but I certainly enjoyed the read - Eggers is a great writer and could probably write about a man watching butter melt and it would be strangely insightful.

This 2012 book, a finalist for The National Book Award is being made into a film directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas), with Tom Hanks playing the main character (Alan Clay). It'll be interesting to see how this comes to the big screen, being that it's plot is basically the story a man in the desert obsessing about neck growth.


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