You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers
This book has an odd title, which is ok, since it is kind of an odd book. It’s a profound one, though and definitely worth reading. The events in this book don’t so much happen as unravel. Information comes scattershot in the memories of the characters rather than summary pages and paragraphs. Slowly but surely it all makes sense. Even the title.
Which it doesn’t in the beginning. The main character, Will, and his best friend Hand, are going on a trip around the world that will last one week and has indeterminate destinations in the middle. Their friend Jack is dead. Despite the fact that Will and Hand appear in the beginning to have minimal sources of income and are (mostly) recovering high school bullies and jerks, they feel compelled to give away $32,000.00 along the way.
I don’t want to give any plot twists away, so beyond that description I can’t tell you. But it is the kind of book that sticks with you, more or less because it asks several profound questions and doesn’t entirely give you the answers. (Nor should it – these are the kinds of individual questions you have to turn over in your brain a little bit.) These are questions about fate, about whether you can control risk, about facing things or running away, and about hope.
Dave Eggers is a talented writer, and I picked up this book on the strength of What is the What, a semi-fictionalized account of a Sudanese refugee – one of the “Lost Boys” who makes it from his war torn village to a small town in suburban Atlanta. That is one of the books on my “must read” lists, heartbreakingly written because of its starkness and unflinching view of what happens outside the view of mainstream media.
To check out this book, and other works by Dave Eggers, click the handy-dandy link below.
Lori B. Duff is the author of the Amazon ‘Hot New Release’ Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza, a collection of autobiographical humor essays. The hard copy of the book can be found on Amazon & BarnesandNoble.com and select local retailers. The e-book can be found here. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.