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A Visit from the Goon Squad ~ Jennifer Egan

May 28, 2011

Genre: Adult Fiction/Literary
Publisher: Anchor
352 pages
ISBN: 9780307477477
Source: Book store

Egan’s entire novel serves to somehow act as one of its characters. At first, it was not all that palatable. There were a few turnoffs, a few faux-pas and a few things that just make onlookers say, “Ugh, maybe not”. There were moments, through a chunk of the beginning, that had me flipping back to the front to make sure that I was, in fact, reading this year’s Pulitzer pick. By the middle, though, I was hooked and by the end, I, honest to god, just flipped the book closed, took a breath and started it all over again from the beginning.

So what changed? Nothing and, yet, everything. Egan’s book isn’t a single, fluid story, exactly, but more of a mosaic of separate lives, strung together by strange intersections of a very small, very modern world. The private lives of publicists, the older lives of once-young rockers, the kids who came from them all, are the stars and bombs that make this incredible creation work. Over the span of several generations and a few cities, lives weave in and out of the suburbs, the village and a little bit of desert. There isn’t much I can give you in terms of summary so I have to beg you to just read it.

As mentioned above, the beginning starts a bit slow and heavy but I promise that once you get the hang of the whole shebang, it’ll be way too late to put down the book. Emotionally, it is a huge undertaking as all of the players are deeply flawed, yet, in their inherent flaws, they are justly human. It’s a deep look at human perfection and human fault, stardom, failure, revival and restitution.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2011 8:38 am

    This book is on bed stand “my next book to read.” Thanks for preparing me for the read. Great review.

  2. May 31, 2011 5:02 pm

    I had the same problem. It takes awhile to figure out what is going on and then you are “This is so cool what she is doing.” I too felt like I had to reread it as soon as I read it to fully grasp it. It is a difficult book to explain and summarize … that is for sure!

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