Lee’s review of A Visit from the Goon Squad > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Most of this I agree to disagree with, but as a person who has been expected by literature to empathze with pretentious middle aged men since she was, in fact, a teenage girl, (and also as the author of a book with approximately 25% teenage girl content, and a therefore impure interest in this question)I am curious as to whether there is an explanation for why teenage girls are inherently unserious and unworthy of scrutiny. I would be so bold as to venture that far fewer readers react that way to books that focus on teenage boys.

message 2: by Lee (new)

Lee Hi Ms. Evans -- first, looking forward to reading your teen content! second, not sure about the gender split re: teen content. third, please note that i am still in the throes of EARLY middle age, although i still suffer from LATE pretentiousness, sort of like late capitalism - hope all's well

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Duly noted. When I devise my comprehensive book stickering system, I will be sure to make two distinct stickers, one for early middle age, and one for late middle age. Pretentiousness will be noted by the absence of sticker, or perhaps an ironic, glittery sticker.

message 4: by KFed (new)

KFed Yikes. If it's no better than Tinkers, which I found to be almost criminally uninteresting, then I might do myself a favor and avoid it completely.

message 5: by Lee (new)

Lee it's totally different than Tinkers but seemed to me similarly empty, as though structural disjointedness and half-assed suggestions re: time satisfy on a thematic level

message 6: by KFed (new)

KFed Hm. I'll probably read the first 20 pages and assess from there whether to continue.

I'm sort of surprised Franzen wasn't even a finalist for the Pulitzer. I haven't read the book yet... But it sort of seemed to have "Big Award" written all over it.

message 7: by Lee (new)

Lee Huh. I assumed he won the National Book Award. Not so.

message 8: by KFed (new)

KFed I guess once he made amends with Oprah, the people-in-charge decided that was award enough.

message 9: by Doug (new)

Doug I've been on the edge of reading Goon Squad and while I figured it was musical, I am not overly put out to hear that it's not. Sounds like it's full of the commercial writer's idea of edgy. That can be alright with enough twists, turns and odd pov. But from your exegesis I assume Egan doesn't approach Lipsyte's or Hannah's oddity level. Maybe, as one in later middle age (much later), Egan's book will speak to me more than it did to you. Thanks for the thoughtful review, Lee.

message 10: by Lee (new)

Lee You're probably right, Lars. Or maybe my use of "empty" means something like it overrelies on suggestion of significance that doesn't move me or make me think or that its thematic significance is undercut by formal soporifics -- ie, too back on readerly heels to care about exquisite investigation of "time" . . .

message 11: by Lee (new)

Lee no, no, happy day -- without glorious readerly subjectivity, responses to books would be quantifiable as slugging percentages!

re: annie dillard, we had this convo already under my Tinkers impressions.

message 12: by Lars (new)

Lars ha, i rarely jump onto these forums...interesting that you and i have tangled before--i did not seek you out, nor did i recall having commented before...my my my...

message 13: by Lars (new)

Lars regarding egan's book, it is not flawless. that being said, it may have simply been what i needed at the time. once i made it through the first two chapters, i stayed up and read half of the book, lapping it up until 5AM.

it lost me a little in the second half--not because the stories were uninteresting, but because egan seemed to have taken us so far away from the "central" characters (if you accept the premise, of course, that this book has central characters) that she lost a little of what was grounding the first half.

the futurism of the final story, in so far as each chapter is a story on its own, seemed a little contrived (not to mention cynical) in a way that the rest did not. it seemed less driven by character than by an attempt to make a point.

overall, it worked for me--but as i said sometimes our opinions are dictated largely by what we need at the time, and this book was what i needed. definitely.

message 14: by Jenn(ifer) (new)

Jenn(ifer) this review describes how I felt about this book to a T. and Tinkers? what a snooze fest!

message 15: by Nick (new)

Nick For some strange reason I ended up being nice to this book, not in my review as I tend not to review, but in my rating. I think of this as a 1.5-star rated book but for whatever reason rounded-up instead of -down.

message 16: by Mary Ann (new)

Mary Ann stalled reading midway - thanks for your comment - I'm in agreement. Why do women have to do the radical post-structural thing? We've got Charlotte Bronte, for heaven's sake!(less)

message 17: by Eamonn (new)

Eamonn Kelly Jonathan franzen was the first to come to mind in comparison to this book. Overly-lauded, boring and depressing.

message 18: by Lee (new)

Lee I like Franzen -- or at least his last two novels. His sentences have a good sense of humor and he included a talking turd in one novel.

message 19: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly Agree about the music bit. Now why did I give it more stars? Maybe it had to do with being able to read this really fast. Forgot about the prizes... why does that make me want to lower my rating. It shouldn't except I'm naturally anti.

message 20: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly Actually, now that I think of it, it's probably the CHOICE of music that made me go a little lower. I rally want 3.5

message 21: by Laila (new)

Laila Was always aware I was reading creative writing/contemporary literary fiction, a different feeling from reading something that feels like lit.

My thoughts exactly!!!

message 22: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly Haha --After a bit of a think, I'm knocking this down to a three. It definitely is NOT a rokinrollah's book…

message 23: by RJ (new)

RJ Love the review. Characters I didn't care about or couldn't sympathize with. Interesting vignettes, some more than others. Left me cold for the most part.

message 24: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly Some day, I'm gonna write a REAL rock and roll novel.

message 25: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Kobylarz-Chouvarda I don't think it's a must-read for "creative writing types." I don't think it's a must-read for anyone, really.

message 26: by Dey (new)

Dey Martin Tracy wrote: "Some day, I'm gonna write a REAL rock and roll novel."

And turn it up to eleven!

message 27: by Dey (new)

Dey Martin Tracy wrote: "Some day, I'm gonna write a REAL rock and roll novel."

And turn it up to eleven!

message 28: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly Dey wrote: "Tracy wrote: "Some day, I'm gonna write a REAL rock and roll novel."

And turn it up to eleven!"

Yes, it will be called "Lick My Love Pump", but it will sound like Chopin.

message 29: by Dey (new)

Dey Martin "Yes, it will be called "Lick My Love Pump", but it will sound like Chopin."

Or "Chopin my Love Pump?

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