Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This is Rad.

My experience with reading Dave Eggers is such: I was nonplussed by the last 350 pages of Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, thought How We Are Hungry was just okay, and loved everything about You Shall Know Our Velocity from the writing to the Scorpions song lyrics to the title to the stripped, skeletal cover design (McSweeney's edition). My point being, I'm not that well versed in the man's writing.
Eggers has become a weirdly polarized figure, probably because he's so likeable. LA Weekly ripped him a new one for the script he co-wrote for Away We Go, and he got a lot of gaff for his optimistic remarks concerning the state of print.
I can't help but think that irregardless of whether he's actually a good writer (which according to every new review of Zeitoun, he most certainly is), he's a really important cultural figure. He releases his hardcover editions through the indie press he founded and helped set up centers for disadvantaged inner-city youth. I mean, the guy has film reviewers giving top-billing to the screenwriter (do I just not read film reviews or does that not happen very often?). And, his readings (see above pic from LA's Skylight Books) incite the type of turn-out ordinarily reserved for Jodi Picoult or Stephanie Meyers.
Pretty rad.

1 comment:

Emily Pullen said...

Thanks TDR! I work at Skylight, and though I haven't read anything of Eggers', I tried to attend the event. But it was so full that I ended up playing bouncer at the door. I met him afterward, and he was as genuinely nice and personal as everyone says. I respect the guy hugely, and it gives me hope that authors and good writing and appealing book objects CAN still reach people.