A Hologram for the King (Review)

Book cover for "A Hologram for the King" by Dave Eggers.Title: A Hologram for the King

Author: Dave Eggers

Publication Year: 2012

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction

Source: Purchased from the Virgin Megastore in Dubai Mall

From the cover:

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from the weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman 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 in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This taut, richly-layered and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment – and a moving story of how we got here.

This an altogether more personal story set in Saudi Arabia than any other I’ve read. And while it regularly touches on the social and religious issues of the country, the strength of A Hologram for the King is really in the depth of the main character and the way that he struggles with his demons.

This novel is a touching look at one man’s misery and attempt to escape it. You can feel the visceral anguish in the character of Alan, right from the outset. There’s a heartwarming series of events with a local driver, but it ends rather horribly when Alan manages to upset an entire village of Saudis and has to go back to his drunken hotel nights.

I enjoyed this novel for its depiction of the struggles we go through and of the financial realities of today’s world, as well as of the business situation in Saudi. Beyond that, it wasn’t my favourite book, but Eggers did a good job of illustrating the subject he set out to do. A Hologram for the King is a snapshot of a specific person and place in time, and if that’s the kind of book you’re looking for, this is a good choice.


This book is a part of the Ramadan Reading event happening here this month.

You can find other posts in the series by clicking on the image to the right, or by taking a look at the schedule of posts and reviews.

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