The Tent is Like a Castle
So far, the new Dave Eggers book A Hologram for the King reminds me of a modernized version of The Castle, by Frank Kafka; Alan just can't seem to make contact with Karim al-Ahmad, his liaison to the Saudi King, and so he and his young companions sit listlessly in the presentation tent, wondering if they will ever get to make their business pitch . . . just as K. -- the land surveyor -- spends the entire length of the Kafka novel fruitlessly trying to gain access to the eponymous castle . . . in the end, he never gets to meet with his contact authority, Klamm, and instead has strange adventures in the village, on the outskirts . . . and while it is hard to recommend the absurd Kafka novels The Castle and The Trial because (spoiler alert!) the protagonists never gain any satisfaction, closure, or knowledge about their predicaments, I will give the Eggers novel a tentative thumbs up -- though I am only half-way through and have no idea if there will be a similarly frustrating finish -- but my thumb is up because Alan has a penchant for telling cheesy long-winded jokes, so though you feel as if you are waiting eternally in an infinite sea of sand for something to happen, at least there are a few punch-lines along the way.