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Hologram for the King: Comic Relief on a sad day.

—Okay. A husband and wife are getting ready for bed. The wife is standing in front of a full-length mirror taking a hard look at herself. ‘You know, dear,’ she says, ‘I look in the mirror, and I see an old woman. My face is all wrinkled, my hair is grey, my shoulders are hunched over, I’ve got fat legs, and my arms are all flabby.’ She turns to her husband and says, ‘Tell me something positive to make me feel better about myself.’ He studies her hard for a moment, thinking about it, and says in a soft, thoughtful voice, ‘Well, there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.’
Alan Clay,  Hologram for the King, pg 114

That’s one of several jokes that Alan Clay tells his driver/ guide in Dave Eggers Hologram for the King. I woke up this morning to the news of the Brussels’ attack. Looking for something to make me smile, I remembered this passage from the novel. Hoping it makes you smile too.

Hologram for the King is headed to the multiplex in a movie directed by Tom Twyker and starring Tom Hanks as Clay, this April 22. You might have noticed it on the guide to Movies Based on Books 2016. Stuck in Saudi Arabia, a tech salesman for an American company, waiting and waiting for a meeting with King Abdullah, Clay has little to smile about. Nor do we, in this real world picture of how many of our country’s jobs have fled the country to cheaper shores. The occasional jokes that Clay tells his driver Youssef are more than welcome.