Study Guide

A Hologram for the King Chapter 20

By Dave Eggers

Chapter 20

  • The day after the party, Alan reads in the paper that Abdullah is back in Saudi Arabia. He might just appear at KAEC soon.
  • Yousef shows up to drive him, but he has a surprise for Alan: he's taking him to see the doctor first.
  • Turns out that the doctor who will examine Alan's neck lump is super-attractive. Alan's shook up because she's so different than the guidebook stereotypes he's familiar with.
  • Dr. Hakem determines that he has a little infection from the steak knife incident. Alan crushes on her the whole time.
  • She also guesses that Alan doesn'thave cancer. It's just a fatty lump. Yay.
  • Alan's kinda disappointed: if he can't blame his faults on the "tumor," what's he going to do?
  • Also, in an odd way, dying would have been a relief. Then he wouldn't have to deal with all the problems of his own making.
  • On the upside, he really connects with Dr. Hakem. He learns that Abdullah's in Riyadh, so no need to rush back to the tent.
  • When he tells Yousef about Dr. Hakem, Yousef's impressed. He, too, didn't expect a female doctor to see Alan alone.

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