A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers

84%

37 Critic Reviews

...against this cold, strange, science-fictiony backdrop, Alan Clay still has hope. With each turn of the page he makes new friends, has bizarre adventures and stands to earn a lot of money...that makes his life – and this book – pretty exciting stuff.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman named Alan Clay pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together.
 

About Dave Eggers

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DAVE EGGERS is the editor of McSweeney's and a cofounder of 826 National, a network of nonprofit writing and tutoring centers for youth, located in seven cities across the United States. He is the author of four books, including What Is the What and How We Are Hungry.
 
Published August 1, 2012 by Vintage. 354 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for A Hologram for the King
All: 37 | Positive: 29 | Negative: 8

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 14 2012

...Eggers’ fiction has evolved in the past decade. This book is firm proof that social concerns can make for resonant storytelling.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Jun 13 2012

...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.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Theo Tait on Jan 30 2013

...this is a clever, likeable and very entertaining novel.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Oct 29 2012

He fluidly switches between dozens of dialects and creates unique voices for a host of characters.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jun 25 2012

Eggers strikes fresh and genuine notes...

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Benjamin Peters on Nov 21 2012

Eggers writes with Hemingway’s clarity....Yet, his brilliance is best displayed in his world development.

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Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by John Freeman on Oct 27 2012

The true genius of this book is that as we careen toward its final pages, these stories collapse into one complex tale...

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Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Cynthia Macdonald on Jul 06 2012

...against this cold, strange, science-fictiony backdrop, Alan Clay still has hope. With each turn of the page he makes new friends, has bizarre adventures and stands to earn a lot of money...that makes his life – and this book – pretty exciting stuff.

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Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by John Freeman on Jul 14 2012

The true genius of this book is that as we careen toward its final pages, these stories collapse into one complex tale: the point at which a man’s need for love from home and his need to be effective in business meet.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Ellen Wernecke on Jul 16 2012

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?

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Jeff Giles on Jul 06 2012

...Eggers has evolved into the least showy or heavy-handed of writers — this is a guy who clearly thinks that adverbs are empty carbs.

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The Telegraph

Good
Reviewed by Stephen Abel on Feb 08 2013

Eggers, who has certainly produced contrived work in the past, has now offered something more substantial.

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The Telegraph

Good
Reviewed by Tim Martin on Feb 04 2013

This serious-minded, thoughtful book sticks devotedly to that mission statement, justifying its place in an increasingly important body of literary work.

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Express

Above average
Reviewed by Matt Thorne on Feb 03 2013

The "hologram" of the title turns out not just to be the complicated software Alan's company is hawking but...even the book, which viewed from the right angle seems utterly dazzling but from another, curiously flat.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Excellent
Reviewed by Adam Hanft on Jul 26 2012

A Hologram for the King deserves much praise and, pace Willy, attention. It has era-defining potential. It is possessed of a hugely understanding heart, and a contemporary but not arch voice that vibrates with well-controlled intensity and anger.

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Tampa Bay Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Colette Bancroft on Jun 24 2012

A Hologram for the King, as far from home as it might seem, is an acute slice of American life.

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About.com

Above average
Reviewed by Mark Flanagan on Feb 11 2013

...perhaps I need to stop expecting so much from his novels.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Above average
Reviewed by Cameron Woodhead on Aug 04 2012

It isn't a work of staggering genius, this, but it is an intriguing and surgically executed novel of American decline.

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About.com Bestsellers

Below average
Reviewed by Mike Sullivan on Mar 18 2014

Do we care about Alan? Do we suffer with him? Is he entitled to something better? And is this allegory of America worth the read? I say yes. That much I’ll tell you is true. But it may not be refreshing...

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Macleans

Good
Reviewed by Richard Warnica on Jul 20 2012

...estrained, compelling and, oddly, almost inexplicably, optimistic.

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We Love This Book

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa Power on Feb 11 2013

While this is not his best work, Eggers handles themes of globalisation, economic decline and personal failure with humanity and eloquence.

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Lincoln Journal Star

Good
Reviewed by Greg Walkin on Jul 21 2012

In "Hologram," Eggers has pared down his style -- it is as straightforward as it is poetic -- and the result is like a long dream from which one never wants to wake.

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Chron.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Conrad Bibens on Jul 01 2012

In “A Hologram for the King,” Eggers returns to his strength: quick-to-the-point fiction.

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Scotsman.com

Below average
Reviewed by Hannah McGill on Jan 20 2013

It’s strange, this sloppiness. It implies a book written quickly, or perhaps just edited quickly; and yet in other ways...seems agonisingly long and slow.

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Time Out Chicago

Excellent
on Jun 28 2012

...the author has embarked on a new beginning as dramatic as his hero’s.

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Spectrum Culture

Excellent
Reviewed by Jacob Adams on Jan 17 2013

The writing has a direct, almost Hemingway-esque quality.

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Metro

Good
on Jan 31 2013

...Eggers offers such a skilfully empathetic portrait, you can’t help wishing Clay could make that sale.

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Three Guys One Book

Excellent
on Aug 27 2012

To be perfectly honest, this is the best book I’ve read in years...

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BookTrust

Excellent
Reviewed by Hamish Hamilton on Feb 11 2013

Eggers nails the decline of the Western economy and industry and turns it into a sad, brilliant story of a man's inner-turmoil.

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Critical Mob

Above average
Reviewed by Greg Dybec on Feb 11 2013

At times, A Hologram for the King moves slowly...

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Baltimore City Paper

Excellent
Reviewed by Baynard Woods on Jul 31 2012

At moments, it reads like Graham Greene’s far-flung reports on British decline, full of political intrigue.

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GQ magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Oliver Franklin on Feb 04 2013

...Eggers' most polished work yet, and a searing indictment of modern capitalism.

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The Blurb

Excellent
Reviewed by Carody Culver on Feb 11 2013

Eggers’ finely tuned rendering of Alan’s character, and the familiarity of his plight, are what make this such a meaningful and poignant read.

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San Francisco Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Alan Scherstuhl on Jun 27 2012

Alan heeds no clear plan as he fixes each rock he grabs upon the previous, but — like Eggers — he crafts something strong and satisfying all the same.

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Occupy.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Chris Hedges on Oct 28 2012

The book works because of its authenticity, its close attention to detail and Eggers’ respect for fact.

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Side B Magazine

Below average
Reviewed by Becca Pollock on Sep 06 2012

The novel is readable...if we could pare down and separate the story from the agenda, it would stand out as a more admirable example of contemporary literary fiction...

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Jul 13 2012

...the suspense about the king’s visit is maintained to the very end. The actual denouement, after the resolution of the suspense, is not very satisfactory. It doesn’t matter. We have had a bitter taste of life in the global village, but not a despairing one, and our acquaintance with Eggers’ hero has been most agreeable.

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Reader Rating for A Hologram for the King
56%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 314 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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