A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers

A Hologram for the King

Dave Eggers

Wonderful self-deprecating observations on the tension and absurdity of a middle-aged man in an unknown culture, waiting to pitch a corporate hologram idea to the King of Saudi Arabia. Written in modest, lean prose, this is an allegory of our time. A comment on the ephemeral nature of American’s global IT projects, in the shadow of China’s successful manufacturing industry.

Extract

Alan glanced at Brad to see if he was serious. He was.
It seemed plugged in. But it was about thirty yards from the tent and thus probably useless to them. Again they stood, squinted, looked around. They saw clusters of workers in jumpsuits, purple and red, installing bricks in the promenade or sweeping sand from it.
-Is that a tower? Alan asked. There was a two-story metal structure, something between an oil derrick and a weathervane, in the middle of the promenade. They walked to it, and saw wires extending from it. Whether or not this meant anything to them was unclear. They walked back to the tent, no smarter than they were before.

Parallels
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday
  • Generation X by Douglas Coupland
  • Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller