the rambling thoughts of a young filmmaker and the discoveries he makes through film, life, and everything in-between...
Friday, December 16, 2011
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
I couldn't help but use the above photo to represent this book because it's exactly how I felt about it. Oh how I loved the beginning of this book. It starts out as the story of a twenty-something who ends up having to raise his young brother after both their parents die within weeks of one another. A great premise - one that I'll borrow thank you very much - and the first hundred or so pages are really quite wonderful. But then as the book moves along it starts to become a lot more about Eggers and his desire to start his own magazine and how that will work, he tries to get on The Real World San Francisco, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I don't care about because what I really truly cared about in this book was the story of the family, and so whenever that was absent, so was I. There's a lot of really fun self-referential stuff going on in the style of the book, but my problem is that as he's mocking himself for being a tad pretentious, he comes off as absolutely pretentious in such a bizarre way. I absolutely loved the first half of this book and absolutely had to force myself to continue through-out it's second half. Don't get me wrong, Eggers is a talented writer, he's able to keep you going and the man knows how to turn a phrase, but this book lacks focus and it's poorer for it, which is a shame since it's first half shows such promise. It's a hard one for me to recommend to be honest, but I wouldn't tell you not to read it should you be interested. How's that for being slightly passive-aggressive?