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Madrid City in English
Tuesday 20th of November 2018
Laura Tabor 1211 7th of November 2012 by PollyRose 7th of November 2012
A Hologram for the King

Dave Eggers McSweeney's

Like the arid landscapes of Saudi Arabia that it describes, A Hologram for the King starts quietly, describing mild and defeated Alan Clay as he begins a stay in Jeddah while waiting to make a sales presentation that could either break him entirely or get him back on his feet financially. At first, the character’s self-pitying attitude and constant introspection are overly dry, but by persisting with the early chapters, you start to feel for the guy, and may, by the end, discover that Alan Clay represents many of the elements of modern America. The book shows itself to be about a waiting time, but it isn’t devoid of action; rather, nostalgia and action work alongside each other, and Dave Eggers writes about the struggles of middle age without flinching. Along the way, the book unfolds a view of modernity and postmodernity, how the old and the new often clash, especially in a liminal space like the King Abdullah Economic City. You’ll find yourself in a boat speeding around the Red Sea, in a car that might or might not be rigged to a bomb, on a hunt for a rogue wolf, and much more. A Hologram for the King was recently a finalist for the National Book Award 2012 in the United States, the winner of which will be announced this month.

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