“Thomas never succeeds at introspection, only flame-throwing. He takes as his hero an astronaut who did everything right in a dedicated and purposeful life until NASA decided it wasn’t economically feasible to keep sending humans into space. Thomas cannot cope with a universe in which a life dedicated to a worthy ambition isn’t fulfilled. Naturally, Thomas kidnaps the astronaut too, and asks him how he dealt with this grave injustice. That’s life, you madman, says the astronaut.”—Dave Eggers returns to a familiar theme in his new novel.