Badkittyuno’s #CBR5 Review #83: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers


“I have no idea how people function without near-constant internal chaos. I’d lose my mind.”

Well, it’s definitely heartbreaking. As for staggering genius…eh. This memoir, written about the deaths of Eggers’ parents and his subsequent raising of his much younger brother (at the time of his parents’ deaths, Dave was 21 and his brother was 7) follows the Eggers brothers to California and watches them try their best to grow up together.

Eggers’ writing style is known to anyone who reads McSweeney’s, which I did religiously for a while and then became bored of. The book followed a similar path to me. It’s very meta — characters break the fourth wall occasionally and Eggers admits that he made certain parts up entirely. It also rambles in a stream of consciousness kind of way. At first, his way with language was enjoyable but eventually I began skimming the pages-long paragraphs of musings, just waiting for some actual plot to reappear.

The actual events of the novel are interesting, and Eggers’ attempt to pick apart his own psyche while raising his little brother is a heroic effort. Definitely an interesting work, and I think I may try one of his fictional novels next.

One thought on “Badkittyuno’s #CBR5 Review #83: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

  1. You’re a little easier on him and the book than I was, but you basically hit all the same points that I did. Like I said in my review, Eggers seemed to buy a little too much into that so-called “staggering genius” and things got out of hand.

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