A Mulford's Reviews > A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
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M 50x66
's review
Mar 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: pulitzer-prize, national-book-critics-circle-award, fiction, women-authors, 21st-century
Read from April 06 to 08, 2012

This is a modern-day story of success and failure and trying to figure stuff out along the way in life's unpredictable journey. There are plenty of truly funny and genuinely tragic moments along the way. Or perhaps I should say 'stories' (plural) since each chapter is narrated by a different character. One chapter is actually narrated by a twelve-year old girl who does so in what is essentially a power point presentation. Chapter 9 is particularly hilarious as it's written while the narrator of that story, himself a writer, is in jail awaiting a trial for assaulting a young 19 yo movie star he was sent to interview for an entertainment magazine. Many of the characters appear more than once, or they're at least referred to at a different times and at different ages. The time frames of these stories run from at least the early 1970's until the 2020's. Additionally, the stories (chapters) aren't sequential in time, although the last chapter is the only one that's set in the future. But it's not as confusing as it sounds even though the reader is often left to figure out some of the details of age and time based on limited information.

The book works both as a series of short stories standing on their own or as a novel.

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