Conflicted Opinion: What is the What (Dave Eggers)

I must have been about eight or nine when I ate too many cinnamon cheerios and up-chucked all over the back of my Mom’s blue and white van.  The manufacture and production of that cereal had to be the handy work of the devil; even if they still did make them, there is no chance in hell I’d be able to force feed a single o into my clenched mouth.

My point is, too much of a good thing is sometimes, well, not good.

What is the What, by Dave Eggers, is a semi-fictional tale about a young child who after years of walking and living in refugee camps eventually lands in Atlanta, Georgia.  The autrocities he expereienced, on both sides of the devide, were terribly sad.  He perseverance and humor were both admirable and touching.  As a story, it was heartwarming and a joy to read.

Dave Egger’s voice is incredible, seriously he is one of my favorite authors.  I absolutely loved We Shall Know Our Velocity, but What is the What lead me down a dangerous path: I skimmed large parts of it.  I am not proud to admit that, but it is true.  I believe the reason is that there was too much conflict.  If I had to stick a headline on it, I’d say that it was too much of a good thing (fictionally speaking, not so much for the real Achak, I’m afraid).

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Categories: Book Review, Fiction, I Remember When

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. I understand. It is immensely sad that someone should have to go through all that, but that doesn’t in itself make it a good story. It is the same with addiction, much in the news today. Monumental in a person’s life, but you can’t turn it into a true and engaging tale.

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