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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Zeitoun

Comments (30)

Over the weekend, I read what I think is going to be my “best book of the year.”  It’s Zeitoun by Dave Eggars of McSweeney’s fame.

Some people just know how to write.  And Eggars is one of them.  Wow.

As I ran around downtown Manhattan this morning thinking about how radically different my run today was from my typical runs around Eldorado Springs and Boulder, I couldn’t help drifting back to Zeitoun.  It’s a stunning story about one man – Abdulrahman Zeitoun – and his family before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.  But Katrina was only the foreplay for the book – the real story is what happens a week after the storm when Zeitoun disappears.

I won’t ruin the book by telling the story here as it’s worth letting it unfold gradually.  But, gradually in Eggars time means that I read the entire 300 page book in one sitting on the couch on Sunday.

America is an awesome place.  At 6am, in the dark, I ran around one of the biggest cities in the world.  I felt safe.  I saw all different shapes, sizes, colors, and types of people.  It was a completely opposite experience to running near my house, where I can do an entire one hour run and not see another human being.

And then I thought of Zeitoun and how insane humans can get, even in this country.  Take my word for it – it’s powerful and may be the best book of the year.  Get it and read it.

Silly disclaimer for the FTC – I get paid an affiliate fee by Amazon whenever someone clicks on the link above and buys a book.  I’m not sure how much money I get and I’m not motivated to blog about the book because of the payment – this was truly a spectacular book.  In fact, I’m never motivated to blog about anything based on the affiliate fees I get – I do it just to better understand how this stuff works since, ahem, I invest in these types of companies and believe I’m a better investor if I actually use the stuff I invest in.  I can’t tell from your guidelines if they even apply to me (and I don’t think they do), but I thought I’d post this just in case.  Plus it made my post longer and more substantial.

  • http://twitter.com/reecepacheco @reecepacheco

    Eggers is brilliant. I loved "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," but I need to catch up on his more recent work. Looking forward to "Zeitoun."

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      Yes – Heartbreaking is one of the greatest books ever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ZORBAtheBUDDHA83 Richard Taylor

    Loved A.H.W.O.S.G and think I'll probably buy Zeitoun (also by Dave Eggers) right now…

  • Camilo

    I will definitely check it out. It sounds like a book with substance. I recently read "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. It was also a book about people and their humanity. I think you would like it. It is the story of a mason building a cathedral in the 12th century. The story focuses on the relational aspect of the characters and how their passions determine their lives. Its 950 pages are well written. Perfect for the plane ride from the east coast to Denver.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      Thanks for the recommendation – I just bought it for my Kindle.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JChauncey JChauncey

    FTC disclaimer > *

  • http://startuptrek.net Steve Bell

    Just read the reviews on Amazon, going to have to pick this one up!

    The only thing that troubles me is, it is not known how much of the story actually happened. I remember reading "A Million Little Pieces" 2-3 years ago, then having the revelation that whether a book is fiction or non-fiction, we are all subject to manipulation by the author of a good book. In this case, it seems almost too tidy, that yes indeed the evil Bush administration and their like were lurking behind the scenese, even having cages built a day after Katrina for Muslims down in New Orleans.

    However, i haven't read it yet, and will keep an open mind on this book. I look forward to a great read!

    -steve

  • http://twitter.com/jlicciardi Jeff

    Love the disclaimer

  • http://www.facebook.com/bradnickel Brad Nickel

    Disclaimer – Laughing hysterically out loud – really! (LHOLR?)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

    Excellent – my day has been made!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/msuster Mark Suster

    Great recommendation – I'm off to buy it now. I absolutely LOVED "What is the What" by Eggers. If you haven't read it – read it next. I lived with Dave's brother Bill after college (we went to college together) when the details of Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genious were actually happening. Topher used to come stay with us when he was about 9. Was strange to see it in a book. I think Dave is one of the best author's out there (along with Phillip Roth … if you haven't read American Pastoral make sure to add it to your list).

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      I haven’t read What is the What, but Amy said she has an it was awesome.  I just bought it for my Kindle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/msuster Mark Suster

    Aargh – Zeitoun not on Kindle! Have to use that old paper stuff.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      Arrrrggghhh is right.  That was my first reaction, but it’s nice to read a hard back book every now and then.

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/dantiernan dantiernan

    Thanks for highlighting this book. Got it on Friday and read it on Saturday/Sunday. First book I read over a weekend in a long, long time.

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  • Dan345

    Great recommendation – I'm off to buy it now. download pirate radio I absolutely LOVED "What is the What" by Eggers. If you haven't read it – read it next. download the blind side I lived with Dave's brother Bill after college (we went to college together) when the details of Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genious were actually happening. Topher used to come stay with us when he was about 9. download planet 51

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    on the affiliate fees I get – I do it just VOB To Avi Mac to better understand ho

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