Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King (signed 1st edition)

In case you haven't already been stopped in your tracks by this at your local bookstore, I thought I'd share with you A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. This book is simply gorgeous--the detailing is all indented into a brown vinyl-like material, which is then further printed in gold to accentuate the design. It's the closest anyone will come to the tooled leather look with a mass-produced volume... I think it's astonishing how great this turned out.

A while ago, I found my interest in McSweeney's was waning, but they've pulled me back in with some really outstanding novels (and lots of great book design, too). I recently saw that Hologram found itself a spot on the bestseller list and couldn't be more happy for the publishing house.

Now, as for the novel...I wasn't a fan. Eggers tries to work this big Samuel Beckett thing into what could have been a very tight meditation on international economic relations, resulting in what I thought was a really empty read. The book is about an American businessman trying to pitch a holographic communication system to a Saudi king who seems to never honor his appointments. While he waits, Eggers brings us lightly through Alan's past and glosses over the state of independent business. Now, Hologram is getting a lot of great reviews by many people, so I'm sort of an outlier here. If you like Eggers and are intrigued by this one, please don't let me steer you away.

My copy is a signed first edition that I picked up at Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene. As a collector, though, this is where things get a little weird. Sometimes "collector's" copies are available for purchase before the collector has time to decide if he or she actually likes the book. It's very difficult to let go of something like this, but I think it's important to remind oneself that it's okay to get rid of a book you don't like, no matter how beautiful it is. My copy of Hologram is on eBay right now--not to turn a profit, but to simply move on.

Currently reading:
Soul of a Whore and Purvis by Denis Johnson

Currently listening to:
Radiohead, "In Rainbows"

1 comment:

  1. Contemporary, plot and character driven, novel! He is truly a talented writer. This book is not his usual story line. So interesting. A quick read, but a book that stays with you because of the core sadness of the central character.