Study Guide

A Hologram for the King Chapter 15

By Dave Eggers

Chapter 15

  • Back at the hotel in Jeddah after a really discouraging day, Alan decides to use Hanne's "gift" to anesthetize himself.
  • But the alcohol is potent and awful-tasting. For a minute, he thinks he's been poisoned. He calls her to ask if she's poisoned him. Because that works, right?
  • Alan gets used to the awfulness of the drink and sets out to swallow it all. He also decides that drunk-writing a letter to Kit would be a great idea.
  • He tries several drafts, but they all seem inadequate/inappropriate.
  • Next, he decides to look at pictures of his life. These, of course, utterly depress him.
  • Alan pokes at his neck "tumor"—still convinced it's the cause of all the evil in his life—and begins to reflect on his life with his ex-wife.
  • She's a confrontational figure, to say the least. Alan recalls blow-ups in public places and fights with total strangers that meant they could never go back to the local grocery store.
  • Alan continues to drink.
  • And of course, as he drinks, he begins to think "drunk surgery" is a good idea. Especially because he has a steak knife in his hotel room.
  • So he goes for that pesky lump on his neck with the not-so-sterile knife. Blood ensues.
  • On the upside, Alan discovers that the lump is probably nothing more than a cyst. Downside? He's probably going to get a nasty infection from stabbing himself.
  • Alan continues to try to compose a meaningful letter to Kit on how to deal with her mother. No such luck.
  • In the end, he gets stupid drunk and passes out on his bed, loving everything and everyone.