Books

Thoughts on Reading Eggers

I am on a Dave Eggers kick.  I enjoy both his writing and story telling ability.  I recently noticed, however, the differences in style from his first novel to his latest.  In his first, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, I feel his writing is loose, sloppy, and unfocused.  Here is an example:

We drive past Half Moon Bay and Pacifica and Seaside, the condos on the left and the surfers on the right, the ocean exploding pink.  We pass through cheering eucalyptus and waving pines, cars reflect wildly as they come at us, they seem to come right for us, and I look through their windshields for the faces of those coming at us, for a sign, for their understanding, for their trust, and I find their trust and they go by.

In his latest, A Hologram for the King, I find his writing to be clear, succinct, and focused.  Here is an example:

In Nairobi he had met a woman.  They sat next to each other while they waited for their flights.  She was tall, curvy, with tiny gold earrings.  She had ruddy skin and a lilting voice.  Alan liked her more than many of the people in his life, people he saw everyday.  She said she lived in upstate New York.  Not that far away from his home in suburban Boston.

I prefer, greatly, the second.  I enjoy pithy reads.  I dislike stream of consciousness.  Which do you prefer and why?

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