A Hologram for the King Chapter 1
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- Our protagonist, Alan Clay, lands in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
- We learn that he's there to pitch a holographic teleconferencing system (fancy) to King Abdullah (fancier), who's developing a new city in the desert (fanciest).
- Alan suffers a bout of anxiety and self-doubt: He's kind of screwed up his life by making stupid decisions and always doing what was easiest.
- And that's biting him in the butt right now. He's in massive debt from a failed business venture, his ex-wife plagues him, and he can't afford to send his daughter, Kit, to college.
- If that's not enough, Alan also reflects on the bizarre suicide of his friend, Charlie Fallon, who drowned himself in a lake after a long romance with Transcendentalist writers.
- He'd seen Charlie stepping in to the lake that day, but thought nothing of it. We get the sense that Alan carries a wee bit of emotional baggage because of this.