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BEST READING IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS Minneapolis 2003 - You Shall Know Our Velocity

Quirky was the word of the evening when Dave Eggers brought his latest three-ring circus to town. The event began with the unique stylings of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. This ma, pa, and daughter outfit tell musical stories based on slides found at garage sales and thrift stores--an eye-opening lesson in how not to dispose of embarrassing pictures. Then came readings from McSweeney's editor Eggers, comic-strip artist Keith Knight, and train-jumping nomad Eddy Joe Cotton. The eclectic fare was tied together with accompaniment from cult rockers They Might Be Giants, who later took the stage to perform an entire set. Ultimately, the event was hardly dampened by the fact that Eggers's second novel, You Shall Know Our Velocity, received lukewarm reviews. Here, the book came packaged with the spectacle of two guys from Brooklyn covering Starship's "We Built This City"--and what a strangely wonderful place the McSweeney's cosmic city is.

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