A Visit from the Goon Squad [Book Review]

A Visit from the Goon SquadTitle: A Visit from the Goon Squad
Author: Jennifer Egan
Genre: Literary Fiction/Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 0307592839
Pages: 288
Year: 2010
Publisher: Knopf
Source: Public Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads):

Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

My Thoughts:

I would really like to devote this whole review to the power point chapter. Amazing. How Egan packed that much emotion into some simple slides is beyond me. You NEED to read this book, if only for that chapter.

But the rest of the book is definitely worth reading. The story moves from character to character with an effortless and subtle ease that all of a sudden you are 6 layers deep in the story and you had no idea you’d gotten that far. Rather than focus on a few main characters and only touch on some periphery ones, Goon Squad gives everyone a say and is a richer book for it. I kept expecting it to go back to Sasha and Bennie and it kept straying farther away. But it still remained their story. And the people in their lives.

The detailed stories of so many characters weave together yet contrast in a way that makes you see the possibilities in life. How one thing can change everything and how we all change in a million different ways all the time.

The only real issue I had with the book, was the ending. It was…strange. I don’t want to give anything away but it got less lifelike in a book that felt so real prior to the end.

But the powerpoint chapter? Totally makes up for it.

Read it. Ok?

Others’ Thoughts: Bookishly Fabulous; The Book Lady’s Blog; Devourer of Books (audio);

Buy It Now: Powell’s; IndieBound; Book Depository; Amazon