This blisteringly funny novel, a savage satire of the United States in the throes of insanity, tells the story of a noble ship, the Glory, and the loud, clownish, and foul Captain who steers it to the brink of disaster.
When the decorated Captain of a great ship descends the gangplank for the final time, a new leader, a man with a yellow feather in his hair, vows to step forward. Though he has no experience, no knowledge of nautical navigation or maritime law, and though he has often remarked he doesn’t much like boats, he solemnly swears to shake things up. Together with his band of petty thieves and confidence men known as the Upskirt Boys, the Captain thrills his passengers, writing his dreams and notions on the cafeteria wipe-away board, boasting of his exemplary anatomy, devouring cheeseburgers, and tossing overboard anyone who displeases him. Until one day a famous pirate, long feared by passengers of the Glory but revered by the Captain for how phenomenally masculine he looked without a shirt while riding a horse, appears on the horizon. . . . Absurd, hilarious, and all too recognizable, The Captain and the Glory is a wicked farce of contemporary America only Dave Eggers could dream up.
“There is a peculiar kind of cathartic feeling that comes from desperate, worried laughter. This kept happening to me while reading this book. The Captain and the Glory is completely absurd and true. It is as funny as it is scarily reflective of our times and current president. Eggers has given us an essential American satire, a depiction of this administration that doesn’t simply deny it as an abomination—which it is—but carries us through an illustration of a parallel imaginary world that delights and defames and is just so good and funny.” —Tommy Orange
“Utterly hysterical. This book gets it exactly right—the tone, the form, the kind of naive narrative that implies that all this is perfectly normal. I laughed out loud so frequently I was amazed, because I’m not that easy to make laugh out loud. Bravo.” —Eric Idle
“A funny, macabre, and inspired modern fable about a boat and its captain. If there is any further metaphor involved, though, it is totally lost on me.” —B. J. Novak
“A shattering, hilarious, spellbinding siren call from the deck of one of our greatest storytellers and prophets.” —Eve Ensler
“This dark fable is a piercing look at the foibles of our time.” —Admiral James Stavridis USN, Supreme Allied Commander at NATO (2009–2013)
“It is difficult these days to portray the sheer, numbing, terrifying, unprecedented strangeness of what is happening in contemporary maritime life. One wants to say it mirrors politics? But truly no metaphor quite captures the sense of peril, nausea, uncertainty, and constant upheaval we feel on angry seas while under bad command. The worry is that you stop trying to describe it. That is why Dave Eggers’s novel is such an accomplishment: it reminds us of how bad it is right now, how we have a moral obligation to keep noticing it, and not get quietly used to it. I’m talking about boat life. Nothing else. Nothing else.” —John Hodgman
“If the normal daily diet of news makes you think that Lord Byron was right—that you should laugh so you do not weep—then let Dave Eggers help you do just that.” —George F. Will