Like, seriously, David Eggers (founder of McSweeny’s–yet another fantastic literary journal which I will at some point be thoroughly engaging) is my hero. Okay, he does have a bit of a language problem (which probably could have cut the book about 100 or so pages), but we have time to work on such things.

I am just starting to get into memoir, having had a serious fiction fixation (ooh! that was some fun alliteration right there, yeah, buddy!) and found that Dave Eggers book was a fantastic starter choice. Having lost both of his parents within 12 weeks of each other to cancer, he found himself raising his brother, Toph, on his own. The moments of humor combined with utter male stupidity (I would like to think that a female would have a bit more of a motherly instinct in some of the scenarios mentioned) work to push the momentum of the story forward.

For those readers who are a bit touchy about memoir given recent authorial authority being used to it’s utmost, my favorite part of the book is when Eggers addresses this directly in the introduction:

Well, suddenly the clouds broke, the sun shown, and once again, the author knew this: that even if the idea of relating a true story is a bad idea, and even if the idea of writing about deaths in the family and delusions as a result is unappealing to everyone but the author’s high school classmates and a few creative writing students in New Mexico, there are still ideas that are much, much worse. Besides, if you are bothered by the idea of this being real, you are invited to do what the author should have done, and what authors and readers have been doing sense the beginning of time:


So, yes, the book is a bit self-realized at times, but you know what? Dave Eggers is still my hero. And he should be yours, too.

Actually, I am thinking about making a button. It will probably say: I like cheeseburgers.