Book review for week 09

Today it´s “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by this North-American writer called Dave Eggers. AHWOSG was Egger´s first book, published in 2000 and imagine that, it´s your very first book and all of a sudden you´re a finalist for the Pulitzer! Not only that, but a sh*tload of magazines and newspapers & stuff named Egger´s book as Best of the Year.
It is not fiction, though.

It´s the story of Dave himself then in his early 20s and his kid brother (about 10 or so) once their parents have both died of cancer within 30 days or so of each other. Dave is left with his kid brother. They move to California and try to begin life anew.
There´s not much a plot per se, it´s real life and you cannot demand a “beginning, middle and end” to life apart from birth and death. The book then is about the duo´s routine, the way they try to cope with this really horrible thing that happened, and ultimately balancing being 20 in the mid-1990s and responsible for raising a child.

It´s a gut-wrenching book and will have you crying before page 35 (I think he had me in pg.33!!), which is a feat regardless of the reader´s own track record.
It´s a very amusing book and will have you laughing out loud straight off its title page, with many jokes thrown in along the copyright notes and etc.

The whole feel of the book is, guy was probably going for a “great American novel” kinda thing but wow, ended up overshooting it by a landslide… which is very good in a sense that he perfectly gets the Zeitgeist, it´s the best description of life in the 1990s that you´ll ever see. But it is also… not bad but different... during a certain part of the book because it raises false hopes upon the reader; part of the book is dedicated to Might Magazine, which was published by Eggers and his friends during the period (a magazine aimed at people in their 20s), so at least during this part the reader will probably feel a little lost at sea, wishing for the bits about the younger brother to come back real soon.
…not that that part is bad (it´s in fact very interesting and has tons of real-life famous persons as guest-stars), but it certainly lacks the emotional overdrive which is a constant for the remainder of the story.

That said, I´m downright unable to say anything negative about the book. Guy has struck gold out of his own life and the book truly IS a work of genius.
Were it fiction a review would sure be easier and flow better, but it´s not. It´s not really about the story per se, but the way in which it´s written, the language, the self-conscious narrative.

Trust me on this one, it´s the **BEST** damn book you´ll have read this year, bar none.