A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers
Lizzie rating: 4.5/5
Alan Clay is stuck. His marriage, doomed from the start, fell apart a decade ago, he’s deep in debt, and he’s being quickly outpaced in his career. In a last gamble he has traveled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the hopes of signing a big business deal.
Eggers moves effortlessly between the present and Alan’s past recollections. Alan is soberly reflecting on his life; his recollections are occasionally pessimistic but never truly cynical. In a subplot, Alan writes dozens of drafts of a letter to his college-aged daughter. Desperate to communicate the best way to handle her mother and other life advice, Alan struggles to distill his own experiences in lessons he is comfortable with.
The book is a true product of it’s environment and heavily influenced by the 2009 economic crisis. Like many Americans, Alan is trying to find his place in the New Normal. This book is extremely readable while staying true to its characters struggles.