You Shall Know Our Velocity
By Dave Eggers
(Because I tend to rattle on, I have a feeling this will be long, so I apologize in advance.)
Before anything else, I should start this review with the obvious - I love Dave Eggers’ writing. And with that, it’s no surprise how much I enjoyed this book. If anyone asked me to rank all the Eggers books I’ve read, this would easily top the list.
From the first page until you reach the end, he’ll have you laughing despite the characters’ circumstances. The protagonist, Will, has decided to travel the world in a week with his buddy, Hand. Their trip takes place months after their best friend, Jack dies and months before Will and his mom dies. No, these aren’t spoilers because Eggers supplies you this information at the very beginning. Which I found unusual, actually. But anyway.
Their plan is ridiculous and impossible. Which is to say I never really expected them to go through with it (but a part of me hoped for the best). Will has about $30,000 to get rid of and he wants to do it by giving it away to people from obscure countries, particularly in Africa. The brotherly (but sometimes, not-so) bond between Will and Hand is reminiscent of that of Dave and his younger brother, Toph in “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”. Their ignorance and earnest foolishness is evident in their many conversations which brings me to this. Dave Eggers is so good at writing dialogues and making them interesting. Some of the conversations take up to three pages and they’re emotionally tedious at times, but not boring. Never boring.
Also, I think I should mention that the whole time I was reading this, I was imagining Hand in my head as James Franco (particularly, as his character in “Pineapple Express”. It seems so fitting!). This book—with its awesome depiction of friendship between two very tormented boys (they don’t seem like men to me) and its exciting narration of an almost world adventure—is one of the best I’ve read. Ever. It’s funny, exciting, depressing, exhausting, and well worth your time.