Louise's Reviews > A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
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Feb 19, 11

bookshelves: contemporary, fiction
Read from February 16 to 19, 2011

A talented artist can paint a picture that evokes an emotion. The viewer looks at the painting and feels nothing but what the artist strives to communicate. The viewer doesn't notice the brushstrokes, the colors, or any of the physical aspects of the painting -- only the essense of the painting. Jennifer Egan is the artist and A Visit From the Goon Squad is the painting.

You know how sometimes you'll notice something, like the shoes a stranger is wearing, or a purse across the room and it'll remind you of something and you'll end up staring into space, lost in that memory? A Visit From the Goon Squad is kind of like that. The funny thing is, I've never worn safety pins in my clothes, I've never had some 40 year old guy do coke off my bare butt, and I've never dived into a polluted river, but A Visit From the Goon Squad made me nostalgic for those events.

A Visit From the Goon Squad is hard to describe as a book. It's narrative fiction, but it's not just one story and it's not only a collection of short stories. It's a collection of short stories connected through some shared characters and a strong central theme that I didn't really understand until halfway through the book. It's not preachy, it's not too-hip-for-thou, and it's not difficult to read. It's wonderfuly written with amazingly seemless transitions between the past and the present.

I can see it as a book that won't appeal to everyone. I had doubts about liking it because of its title and cover (I know, I know), but even I have to admit that it's one of the best written books I've read.
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Quotes Louise Liked

Jennifer Egan
“We stand there, quiet. My questions all seem wrong: How did you get so old? Was it all at once, in a day, or did you peter out bit by bit? When did you stop having parties? Did everyone else get old too, or was it just you? Are other people still here, hiding in the palm trees or holding their breath underwater? When did you last swim your laps? Do your bones hurt? Did you know this was coming and hide that you knew, or did it ambush you from behind?”
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad


Reading Progress

02/16/2011
5.0% "So far, so good. New Yorkers. Bleh."
02/17/2011
10.0% "Graceful flashbacks."
02/18/2011
60.0% "I missed out on so much of my youth by not being a f*ckup."

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

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Tricia Out of curiosity, why were you turned off by the book cover?


Louise At the risk of sounding like an old person, the guitar head and the colors were too rock and roll for me.


Tricia Haha, yea I can see that. The pb has a new cover I think for that same reason. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/95...


Louise Ugh, the PB is even worse. I was hoping it'd be better. But now it looks too post modern!


Tricia yea, I like the original better...even though it does look a little "too hip." I'm glad I bought the hardback!


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