You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers is a novel about two friends, Will and Hand, who embark on a journey around the world after their childhood friend Jack is killed in a highway accident.
With a windfall of money that Will has recently received, they set out to give away the money to people in need. Along the way, they confront their grief over Jack’s death and explore the inner world of Will’s tormented consciousness.
The novel is filled with moments of humor, grief, and compassion as Will and Hand travel from Chicago to Dakar, Morocco, Estonia, and Latvia. Through their travels, they discover more about themselves, the world, and their place in it.
The story also serves as an elegy to childhood and lost innocence, as Will and Hand remember their childhood experiences and reflect on how their behavior is still childlike.
Eggers speaks for his own experience and the sensibility of his generation, which differs from previous generations. He also uses metaphorical language to add depth to the novel, such as describing a swarm of birds as “swinging to and fro, overlapping, like a group of sixth graders riding bikes home from school”.
The novel is ultimately a story of loss and its aftermath, and how Will and Hand are able to find solace and hope in the midst of tragedy. It is a powerful and moving tale that will leave readers with a sense of hope and understanding.
What I Liked
I liked the setting and the characters. It was a solid novel with an atmospheric ending.
What I Did Not Like
It was a bit long and meandering.