Study Guide

A Hologram for the King Chapter 28

By Dave Eggers

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Chapter 28

  • Alan joins Yousef and the villagers on a night hunt for the rogue wolf. Salem stays at home.
  • Alan gets along well with his companion on the ride out to the mountains. They take up stations around the sheep pen and wait for their chance to hit the target.
  • He's excited for the opportunity to shoot, but he also dreads killing the wolf. Alan's just a bundle of contradictions.
  • Alan remembers his dad teaching him to shoot, mostly by example. It took Alan a long time to catch on because Dad wouldn't really give him instruction.
  • Alan tells Yousef stories about his dad's experience in World War II, including the one about his escape from Nazis by means of stolen Russian bicycles.
  • Yousef wonders if that experience influenced Alan to get into the bicycle industry. Alan is astonished—he'd never thought of that before.
  • Alan gets the feeling that Yousef would like to fight for a cause. And Yousef says he would—if he could make his homeland a different place.
  • Yousef asks if Alan would fight on his side if he started a democratic revolution in Saudi Arabia. Alan maybe would.
  • But he also tells Yousef that there's no way the U.S. would get involved in such a thing. Yousef thinks Alan is crazy for vowing to take his side so quickly.
  • Yousef assures Alan that he's just kidding with all this talk about revolution. Whew.
  • But Alan senses a sadness in Yousef with the knowledge that nothing will ever happen to change Saudi Arabia.
  • Soon, the waiting becomes a challenge for Alan. His gun needs to be fired. Alan realizes that he will 100% be the one to kill the wolf.
  • He thinks this mostly because he needs a triumph of some kind. How cool would it be to kill a rogue wolf in the mountains of Saudi Arabia? It would be so cool.
  • Alan sees a figure move into his sights. He shoots.
  • But (*gasp*) it isn't a wolf. It's a shepherd boy closing down the pens for the night.
  • Alan gets lucky: he's missed the young man. But the mood of his compadres changes dramatically. Suddenly, the mistrust of him returns.
  • Even Yousef is affected by Alan's mistake. He arranges for a driver to take him back to Jeddah in the morning.
  • Alan wants Yousef to like him still. Yousef says that he has to remember what he liked about Alan in the first place—but it won't be easy.
  • Alan pins his hopes on Dr. Hakem and the surgery that will take away whatever the heck had gotten into him.

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