tee's Reviews > A Visit From The Goon Squad

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
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's review
Jul 25, 11

bookshelves: oriana-is-my-book-muse, i-own
Read from July 24 to 25, 2011

This will be the only review on goodreads that doesn't mention the book's powerpoint chapter. OH fuck! Well now that the damage is done, I thought the powerpoint chapter was shit. I didn't care much for the book either. I seem to have that kind of reaction when a book is super hyped though - I may have liked it a fraction more if I had discovered it on my own and it hadn't been raved about. Which is probably the streak of hipster in me. I hate myself and I want to die.

I don't know, I just didn't give a shit about anyone. I started reading and thought, okay this is excellent. I loved the first chapter, Sasha seemed interesting. And then we were torn away from Sasha and suddenly I was reading about someone who wasn't as interesting; mostly because they had interfered with me getting to know somebody else. I hate it when that happens. And then I settled down and was like, okay, let's see what your story is and what you have to say. And then it happened again. Except we werne't returned to Sasha's story, we were straight into another, seemingly disconnected story. Except that was the ~quirky~ thing, right, all the stories are interrelated somehow. They jump from one era to another and bounce from one person's life to another. Everyone sort of knows each other, everyone is pretty boring. And then when they're not boring (like the General's publicist story, it seems too far fetched to be feasible and I spend too much time wondering whatthefuck rather than being drawn into a captivating tale). But then I am pretty ill at the moment so probably hating life and everything it contains more than usual (I know, it's possible, hard to believe, fuck off).

I do prefer hearing a story from one or two perspectives in a linear fashion ... or maybe I'm just used to it because I loosened up a little and ended up liking what Egan did. I really love short stories so really, it was like a collection of short stories with a twist. She uses different styles; first person, a journalistic piece, even a second person piece (and like most second person pieces, I found it disconcerting and awkward, though Egan almost pulls it off). And she does an entire chapter in Powerpoint .. what, you haven't heard?! It's true!

I liked the jumps between eras and although she does so much shifting between styles, protagonists, settings and eras .. it never really felt erratic, it always felt grounded and I felt each piece had a lot of depth. I liked how it's all about getting old and becoming decrepit; it's something that I am becoming very familiar with. See! I can be pleasant and write nice things even if it sounds like I have a gun to my head. I spend a lot of time reminiscing and writing about reminiscing and wondering if I've spelt reminiscing correctly. In fact I liked the themes of this book way more than I did the actual book. If I'd been more interested in the characters and/or their stories, I probably would have loved the shit out of this book. But I didn't. I just didn't click with it. Probably through no fault of the author, it's probably just me being all weird and reclusive with the inability to be related to.

The book, itself, was a really nice size. I was excited to read it at first because it was like a perfect little brick of pages. The right size physically but also the right length (LOL LIKE A GOOD PENIS I KNOW RIGHT) and the cover was nice and the print was pretty good. But it ended up having one of those spines that you have to crack like three million times which I don't really mind but it does ruin the effect of it being perfect. Nothing is as it seems. I am reminiscing about the perfect state my book was in before it had to be read. Ah, those were the days. Time, goons breaking spines, etc, etc IDK.



captures what I liked about good squad. Image from here.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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oriana this is pretty much all the things I would have said if I weren't too lazy & busy to actually review this book. I'm pretty sure I would have liked it a whole hell of a lot better if she hadn't won the Pulitzer.

message 2: by tee (new) - rated it 2 stars

tee Glad I'm not alone on this one! I wish you weren't so busy, your reviews are rather great.

oriana you are far too sweet to me!

Mary Aris I agree!

Danielle this is the reason i didnt give the book 5 stars. there was something just TOO spacey about it, something that didnt hit quite true. but overall, i loved it. if i can be entertained by a boring book, it has to be good!

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