A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
A Hologram for the King is the story of a struggling American businessman who journeys to Saudi Arabia in the hopes of striking a business deal with an elusive King who no-one has seen for months. Hoping to save himself from financial ruin and keep what's left of his family in tact, the man is forced to bide his time in a strange new world.
Reviewer: Carmela Ciuraru
"It is an extraordinary work of timely and provocative themes, including the decline of American manufacturing, the sufferings of the middle class and the collapse of the global economy. Yet the book never seems didactic or driven by a political agenda."
Reviewer: Pico Iyer
"it’s a clear, supremely readable parable of America in the global economy that is haunting, beautifully shaped and sad....Eggers has developed an exceptional gift for opening up the lives of others so as to offer the story of globalism as it develops and, simultaneously, to unfold a much more archetypal tale of struggle and loneliness and drift."
Reviewer: Ryan Bort
"Narrowing the narrative also allows Eggers to display a far more attuned literary craft than anything we have previously seen from him. The authorial voice of A Heartbreaking Work… dropped jaws with its wit and energy, but in A Hologram for the King, Eggers sculpts a more complete, polished work of art."
Reviewer: Cynthia Macdonald
"Eggers is a master of the docu-novel. He’s able to capture the inner life of a man living in the immediate present, buffeted this way and that by current events. Clay is at once a timeless archetype, and very much a creature of today."
Reviewer: Michiko Kakutani
"Mr. Eggers wisely does not strain to try to turn Alan’s story into an existential parable of the human condition like “Godot.” Instead, he has achieved something that is more modest and equally satisfying: the writing of a comic but deeply affecting tale about one man’s travails that also provides a bright, digital snapshot of our times."
Reviewer: Yvonne Zipp
"“A Hologram for the King” is a dispirited descendant of Arthur Miller's Pulitzer-winning “Death of a Salesman,” with echoes of “Waiting for Godot” and the travel-induced queasiness of “Lost in Translation.”"
Reviewer: Carolyn Kellogg
"The novel is solidly constructed and elegantly told. There is nothing inaccessible about it, but it may be difficult for some because it is so deeply forlorn....With Clay's character in the balance and the allegorical overtones for our American moment, "A Hologram for the King" seems well suited for reader discussion. Occasionally, Eggers hits his themes a little hard"
Reviewer: Michael Dirda
"A diverting, well-written novel about a middle-aged American dreamer, joined to a critique of how the American dream has been subverted by outsourcing our know-how and manufacturing to third-world nations. That last is certainly a distinctly contemporary touch."
Reviewer: Ellen Wernecke
"A story covered with current-events trappings without actually saying anything, A Hologram For The King takes itself too seriously even to explain, through Alan as proxy, why the king needs the hologram. Could that possibly be a sign?"