Read You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers Free Online
Book Title: You Shall Know Our Velocity!|
The author of the book: Dave Eggers
ISBN 13: 9780970335555
Date of issue: September 1st 2002
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.97 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.7
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Preface to the fourth edition:
I wrote this a few years ago, back when I had just finished reading the book, but before I had died. I still haven't died so that's beside the point. I'm procrastinating right now, and copying this from another site where this originally appeared.
There are three ways that I pick out books to read. One is through the convoluted and serpentine way that I choose most of my books. The second way is by catchy covers promising pop-culture hipness. This second of choosing books I have begun to wean myself off of since too many times I have been burned on the choices. One book in particular that I choose in this manner was Dave Eggers A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I’m one of the few people of my demographic that hated this book and felted cheated (or of the few I’ve run into (4th edition note, this is not so true anymore)). I thought the idea of Dave Eggers was great, I respected his journal McSweeny’s and sometimes thought his quasi-punk rock ethics were commendable. I just didn’t like the book though (I have to stop here about A.H.W.O.S.G., if I get started on this book I’ll just rant on and on—one note though from here on out I will refer to Egger’s first book simply as the first book. Following this brilliantly simple shorthand I will call his second book, You Shall Know Our Velocity!, the second book. I will do this for two reasons. One, because I am not the kind of writer in the Wallace, Moody and Eggers school who enjoys keeping track of long acronyms; but more importantly because I can never really keep straight the titles of Eggers books.).
A short aside in the form of a list of titles I have mistakenly (consciously and unconsciously) called both of his books while at work to co-workers and customers
A Staggering Work of Heartbreak, You Will Know our Velocity, You Will know us by the Trail of our Velocity, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Pretensions, That Something book about Genius and Death, The Book without the Cover…. (Authors note: this sounded like a much better idea at the time. Much like the time when I made up a write off, in order to try to get more hits. I then realized it was stupid and I changed the write off. Four days later I cancelled the write off. The moral of this story could be that I don’t like erasing things once they are written. A second moral could be that I really should edit my work better).
A second aside in the form of a continuation needed to wrap up the Introduction
The third manner I choose my books is with a masochistic zeal to read new books by authors who I disliked to the point to ranting continually about them for weeks in order to a) confirm my suspicions, or b) make me look like an open minded kind of person who can re-encounter a previously disliked author and find enjoyment in their work. Of course when I choose a book for this reason I’m really hoping for A. I don’t go in with an open mind, because I’m an opinionated jerk. I picked up Eggers second book for this third reason. I wanted it to get my goat, and allow me to say, “See I told you.”
Second Preface to the Review
I’m not the kind of author who would write a second, third or possibly even fourth preface to a review. I need to clear up some points made in the introduction.
1. I will be the first to admit that I didn’t need to give three ways I pick books. I know full well that I never actually explained the first manner of choice. But see I just pointed out the fault so don’t blame me for it. I know that I was wrong.
2. Everything coming before this note has been extraneous and probably best skimmed over. Since you couldn’t have known this till you got to this point in the review you could a) consider yourself noted; b) not blame me, I pointed out in an overtly self-reflexive manner my shortcoming, a la beating everyone to the criticism punch, c) inform your friends of the gratuitousness of the review and tell them to skip through the beginning.
3. I must point out once again that I am not the kind of writer who would ramble on and on in this manner.
4. I’ll be the first to admit that really only 26% of this review is worth reading. The rest of the review is best skipped over. Again, I warned you so it’s all out of my hands.
An Addition to Third Edition of this Review
Surprisingly it has come to my attention that I have been paid for this review. Of course, that means I need to make a full disclosure of the monies received and the manner in which I will / have spend / spent them.
Amount Paid to Date: $0.02
Amount of Time (Roughly) Spent Reading the book to base a review on it: 7 hours.
Amount of Time Spent Writing the Review, including revisions: 3 Hours.
Amount Paid per Hour for Review: $0.002
Amount Spent of Royalties: None, I will not receive any money for the review for quite a long time (I never received the money, they took it away from me because I stopped putting up reviews for too long 4th edition note)
I feel more than a little guilty at the staggering two tenths of a penny per hour (or 2 thousandths of a dollar) I received for this. When the money comes to me I will be sure to split it up among worthy causes and make a full disclosure of how the money was spent. I imagine it will be used as two percent of the cost of a large cup of coffee at the deli around the corner from where I work.
Graphical illustration of profit.
Time Spent for review.
(can't make something that small here)
Cost of Cup of Coffee
********* ****************** ************ ******************* ************ ******************** *********
Royalties Spent towards this Staggeringly expensive Purchase of Heartbreaking proportions.
What is the Book About
Well I can’t tell you. Sorry. (I cut a bunch of words here because I was over in the character count. I rant about people giving away the plot of books, but will keep a movie plot a big secret.) Well according to the back it’s about giving away $32,000 in a week, but why? I’m not telling. The novels about two guys, the narrator Will, who is telling the story after Jack died but a couple of years before him and his mother drown in Columbia (That’s the first page of the novel paraphrased, or the cover if you get the hardcover version). The second guy’s name is Hand; he’s the zany friend you wish you had growing up. You know the one who will do anything, has the wacky ideas, and gets annoying but always a party to be around. The two decide to travel around the world in one week and give away $32,000 dollars along the way. The catch? The people need to be deserving of the money, the countries need to be off the beaten path and not require visas to enter.
Along the way in the travels of Will and Hand, Eggers throws some literary tricks into the mix that call into question all kinds of assumptions about the basic structure of the novel. I can’t say anymore about this though. I’d feel as if I was cheating anyone who read the book after reading this of the fun.
About the Novel
The writing in the novel is more straightforward than in the first book. Much of the book is quite funny in a dry sardonic sort of way. It’s difficult after reading Eggers first book to believe that this novel isn’t also autobiographical in nature. The depressing qualities of H.W.O.S.G. come back through. Taking into account Egger’s life (his parents plus his sister have passed away) it is understandable that the topic of dealing with grief should be a dominant theme in his work. He offsets the grief though with humor that most of times works (sometimes the humor is too smart for it’s own good).
There are a lot more things I want to talk about, but if I did the novel would be ruined. Eggers does some interesting things with the form of the novel, but they are just too good to reveal in a review to possible readers.
If you liked Eggers first book I think you will like this. If you hated his first book I think you will still like, I did. Eggers is probably best appreciated by twenty and thirty something year olds, but I can see their being an appeal of this book to most readers of literary works.
The author wishes to express the realization that this review is shoddy. As of this line only 29% of the review is dedicated to the actual book. The remaining 71% (now 72%) of the review has been a juvenile attempt at mocking Eggers writing style, especially the manner he handles the infinite introductions of H.W.O.S.G. The author acknowledges he is not half (or now 27%) the writer of Dave Eggers. The author of the review wonders why you have read this, wants to know why you care what he thinks and is considering swearing at you in an ironic manner, but then he realized he would be again just imitating Eggers, instead I’m going out and running down the beach and watch a Frisbee hang overhead, in that sublime manner that makes you realize the transcendence of life; and then maybe I’ll jump in a pool….. you know for the whole re-birth and baptism analogy.
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Read information about the authorDave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern), and a monthly magazine, The Believer. McSweeney’s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of eight tutoring centers around the country and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible. He lives in Northern California with his family.
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