Sarah's Reviews > A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
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's review
Jan 07, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: many-story-lines, interesting
Read on January 07, 2012

I was not a fan of Egan's murky envisioning of the future, not because it was dystopic but because it was vague and disjointed. Passages in which she wrote about experiences and lifestyles that she seemed to have personal familiarity with were tremendously readable, but the future was stiff. I'm not saying that no author should write about what they suspect might happen but that when one decides to it is done best when he/she maintains professional distance in doing so, (eg. don't go absurd unless your whole book is absurd)- make predictions by exploring expert hypotheses about the future, not just from one's own framework of distrust and guesstimations from technology as it already is. If Egan was writing this from the perspectives of the characters living within a new technological world, this could have worked. It did not fit when coming directly from the omniscient unbiased narrator. (On a personal note, the text messaging bits drove me nuts, which isn't the most important part, but another disjointed one.)

I guess this book is about the passage of time, but that was vague, too. Egan is good at writing moments, but the overall statement of "Goon Squad" seemed to be "I don't know where I'm going, no one knows where they are going, so I guess that I've decided to write a book called: this it's what time passing looks like" - it was entertaining, but I'm really surprised that it won so many accolades.
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Reading Progress

01/07/2012 page 222
65.0% "Hoping Egan actually finishes up with at least one character."

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