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You Shall Know Our Velocity!

About the Book

You Shall Know Our Velocity!

Dave Eggers's first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, turned the conventions of the memoir inside-out. It questioned, parodied, stretched, and subverted the rules for writing about one's life in a book that ultimately lived up to its tongue-in-cheek title. The deaths by cancer of Eggers's parents, within a few weeks of each other, his efforts to raise his younger brother, Toph, coupled with Eggers's self-conscious genre-bending, made the book both deeply emotional and brilliantly innovative.

In You Shall Know Our Velocity!, his first novel, Eggers tells another story of loss and its aftermath. After their childhood friend Jack is killed in a highway accident, Will and Hand decide to fly around the world, giving away the windfall money Will has recently received. And while their travels take them from Chicago to Dakar, Morocco, Estonia, and Latvia, the real journey is an interior one, into Will's tormented consciousness. He can give away his money—and the occasions for doing so range from the hilarious to the awkward to the poignant—but the voices in his mind are another matter. However much he wants to "throw his head to the world," it remains firmly on his shoulders, filled with memories of childhood and of Jack, and with an overwhelming desire for vengeance—on the yahoos who beat him up and on the trucker who killed his friend.

In writing that is brilliant, unpredictable, and paced at breakneck speed, Eggers takes readers halfway around the globe and all the way into the inner world of his narrator's unrelenting grief.

You Shall Know Our Velocity!
by Dave Eggers

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2003
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-10: 1400033543
  • ISBN-13: 9781400033546