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modern
12.06.03

DAVE EGGERS
a heartbreaking work of staggering genius

This was uncalled for.

The phrase is embedded between Eggers' photo and the title page, I nearly missed it. It begs the question - how many books these days are "called for" anyway? There is a lot of "literary trash" these days, the publication of each title probably wipes out an entire forest, and it's both sad and disgusting at the same time. It wouldn't be as bad if the books were able to enrich us somehow, at the very least.

Still, you can't help being touched by Eggers' sincere opening. I couldn't anyway. And so I've started reading this book - which has been described as having lack of structure by its critics, and "a brave new sort of writing" by others - slowly but surely making progress. It is rather difficult to read when a book is not organised into chapters, but then real life isn't anyway so one can hardly consider the disorganisation a flaw since this is a semi-autobiographical work.

We studied stream of consciousness writing in secondary school. I guess this sort of falls under that category. Rather looking forward to reading it, although yesterday night I was halfway through the acknowledgements - you really have to read it, it's very funny - when I suddenly felt like doing some writing of my own. Good writing inspires me like that.

Hmm. It seems I've been rambling so I'd better stop. Hope you're curious enough to at least browse through it next time you're in a bookstore. The title's enough reason to. (That's how I first got hooked.)

See the reviews at Amazon.

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