Jul 23, 12
Read in July, 2012
It's not A Visit from the Goon Squad--not by a long shot. Sensitively written in many parts, a little self-indulgent in others. In my creative writing class, a friend of mine used to call things like this "fantasy stories"--the romantic trip through Europe (where everything seems mysteriously paid for), the wildly passionate affair with a sensitive (slightly) older man, the drug- and wine-fueled (somewhat strained) self-discovery.
Although Phoebe's never-ending gaze into her own psyche seems authentic enough, the way she wallows in her own problems for the length of the novel keeps us from caring all that much about them. I agree with a poster below: flashback scenes that include the father are the most successful in the novel.
Only glimmers here of the genius in Egan's work to come.