Dave Eggers is always highly readable, and rewards his readers with interesting settings, rich characterization, and generally compelling stories. The plot here is rather thin, and I suspect this would have worked better as a short story, or possibly a novella. A middle-aged salesman, on the brink of economic and personal failure, relies on an extremely tenuous business connection to try to land a contract with the Saudi Arabian king for an IT company--the maker of the holograms of the title. What ensues is largely theater of the absurd, with plenty of time for soul-searching and reflection. In the hands of a lesser writer, this would have been a difficult book to write. Eggers pulls it off, but just barely.
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