Study Guide

A Hologram for the King What's Up With the Title?

By Dave Eggers

What's Up With the Title?

Alan journeys to KAEC to sell holographic conferencing technology (that's the A Hologram part) to King Abdullah for his new city (that's the For The King part).

And Alan's super excited, because a) the technology isreally jazzy and b) this is pretty much Alan's last chance to save his career. That's what makes the king's icy reception of Reliant's presentation so cruel: by choosing the Chinese competitors over Reliant's product, Abdullah is pretty much sending Alan's livelihood into deep freeze.

But why this title? Why not give the book a name that refers to something that takes up a bit more page space—like Mr. Clay Has A Neck Cyst or Alan and Yousef: A Bromance?

A couple of reasons. Not only is the king himself super-symbolic (check out our Symbols analysis for more) but also the hologram that Alan is trying to present is as illusive as his dreams. This is a story of a guy trying to make his success materialize…but, like a hologram, it never really becomes something tangible.