Sharon's Reviews > A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
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's review
Sep 20, 11

bookshelves: adult-fiction, realistic-fiction, pulitzer
Read in September, 2011

A uniquely structured novel, filled with interlocking stories that connect to form a bigger picture of small connections between people's lives. I'm not usually much of a short story reader, but to Egan's credit, the characterization and voice was strong enough in each of these short pieces that it sucked me right in. A lot of the stories are connected by music (an aging record executive and his assistant, both once part of the punk rock scene, are prominent characters), but even more, they're connected by a sense of the passage of time and how much changes as we age, without us even noticing sometimes. Several characters are shown looking back over their lives, or at some turning point or defining moment, with regretful or wistful introspection. Time is referenced at a couple of points as a "goon" who you can't let win. Yet, for all the missed opportunities, there was still enough hope, humor, and fun experimentation to keep me hooked. I especially loved some of Egan's visualizations of the future, though I know some will find them hopelessly gimmicky. One of the better novels I've read in quite some time.

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