A Hologram for the King

Dave Eggers, read by Dion Graham. Recorded Books, unabridged, library edition, seven CDs, 7.75 hrs., $77.75 ISBN 978-1-4703-2259-5
In Eggers’s fourth novel, failed entrepreneur Alan Clay is recently divorced, deeply in debt, and struggling to pay for his daughter’s next expensive semester. When his latest business venture lands him in a soon-to-be prosperous city in Saudi Arabia, he must work to win a communications contract from an elusive king. Clay expects to stay a few days, but finds the project without an end date. Stranded in a desert purgatory, Clay drinks too much, sleeps too little, writes long e-mails to his daughter, reflects on the missteps that have led him astray in life, and, in his bleaker moments, performs surgery himself on a suspicious growth on the back of his neck. For a businessman hoping to salvage his career, it is a shaky new beginning. Narrator Dion Graham—who has previously read other Eggers titles—turns in a standout performance. His reading is clear, crisp, well paced, and thoroughly entertaining. He fluidly switches between dozens of dialects and creates unique voices for a host of characters. Eggers fans will be delighted. A McSweeney’s hardcover. (June)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
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