Study Guide

A Hologram for the King Narrator Point of View

By Dave Eggers

Narrator Point of View

Third-Person Omniscient

We're pretty solidly stuck in Alan Clay's tortured little brain for most of this work, but Eggers does occasionally give insight into the minds of other characters. But these moments are as rare and fleeting as Alan's bursts of self-confidence—you blink and you'll miss them.

Check out the moment when Hanne and Alan are in her bathtub. Hanne's been sexually satisfied, but Alan? Not so much.

She turned to him, touched his cheek, his lips. She looked in his eyes, feverishly, for some sign that she had broken through, that she had changed him. Not finding it, she turned back again, her face to the tiled wall. (XXII.119.191)

The description feels like simple narration of body movements, but in that direction we can see Hanne's hope (and disappointment).

Eggers also puts his authorial two cents in when he's feeling particularly philosophical. Here's a bit just a few sentences removed from our foray into Hanne's mind:

There would be a time when the world created people stronger than them. When all of this got worked out. But until then there would be women and men like Hanne and Alan, who were imperfect and had no path toward perfection. (XXII.119.191)

So even though this book is 90% the Alan Clay Show, we get to delve into other POV's from time to time.