You Shall Know Our Velocity Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of You Shall Know Our Velocity

In Pulitzer Prize nominated author Dave Eggers' first novel, two friends, Will and Hand, travel the world attempting to give away $32,000 in one week.
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As the novel opens, the narrator, Will, nonchalantly tells the reader that he is dead. He treats this as an insignificant detail, not relevant to the more important story of his charitable mission. Will is compelled to initiate this strange mission after the tragic and untimely death of his best friend Jack, and his own savage beating which left him near death. He comes into the large sum of money, but due to the recents tramautic events in his own life, feels the urge to use the money to help others who have suffered even more than him. He recruits his friend Hand, and the two purchase opened ended travel tickets, allowing them to travel whenever and wherever they want.

Their first stop is Africa. In Sierra Leone they encounter malnourished children, desperate women prosituting themselves, and gangsters profiting from other peoples' suffering. They explore the country on foot, giving out hundreds of dollars to random people that they meet. Will and Hand become so entangled in these people's lives that they overstay the time they had allotted for the country, and their plans to do good across the world begin to fall apart.

As the novel unfolds, we began to see that Will is mentally unstable, and he begins to have hallucinations about his dead friend Jack. The narrative is then picked up by Hand, whose version of events differs largely from Will's, leaving the reader to decipher the truth of the story.
The review of this Book prepared by Kristina MacIsaac

Chapter Analysis of You Shall Know Our Velocity

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Coping with loss of loved one(s)    -   Yes Loss of...    -   good friends

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Black Africa

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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