A Visit from the Goon Squad
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
A New York Times Book Review Best Book
One of the Best Books of the Year: Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Miami Herald, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Newsday, NPR's On Point, O, the Oprah Magazine, People, Publishers Weekly, Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Time
What.....were.....they.....thinking????? Oh, I forgot, they weren't!
When did the Pulitzer become the Puke-litzer? I'll never again trust that prize designation except with books from a long time ago.
Don't be fooled by the first chapter, which is not too bad. Sort of an interesting start, about a kleptomaniac aging punk rock chick. After that, FORGET IT! Dumpster filler.
A lot of people make a big mention of the PowerPo ...more
The "goon" in the title of this book is time. It opens with a quote from Proust, the poet laureate of memory, about how we cannot recapture the people we were in past the places where we were those people, but rather that those people exist within us, always. And that, it seems to me, is more or less the book, in a nu ...more
this book is the saddest, truest, wisest book i have ever read in a single day. which is not to belittle it - my tear-assing through it is because i did not want to stop reading it and resented any interruption that tried to get in my way. i am someone who plans things. i have timetables in my head - i have to, in order to get everything done. nothing important, just "at 8:00 i will untangle my necklaces while i watch my netflix. at 10:00, i will fold my laundry a ...more
Each of the 13 chapters is told in different points of view mostly by people who the two main protagonists, Bennie, the gold-eating reco ...more
I hate power point. I think it was invented by the devil and given to humanity to make us even dumber than we are now. I think teachers who use power point should be hog-tied by their intestines and then sodomized by Mary Lou Retton (and probably people in the corporate world too, but I don't know about that first hand, but I'm sure they deserve even worse). I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate power poi ...more
This book, a collection of quasi-connected short stories, covers a span of time between the 1970s and 2020s and follows a variety of people, most notably a former punk rocker turned music executive and a young troubled kleptomaniac turned an adu ...more
*This is a lie. I did not write a PowerPoint book review because I:
am lazy/am not that clever/don't have PowerPoint. Or is it all three*?
*It is all three.
I loved this book, which is funny because it's basically short stories, and I usually don't have the patience for short stories. But these did me the favor of interlocking nicely in a way ...more
Time is a strange old fella, isn't it? It creeps up on you and changes you bit by bit until you the new you and the old you are barely more than strangers to one another.
You can see time as a continuum, a line stretching from the past into the future, a long straight road to travel along with occasional proverbial 'road not taken' splitting off to the side - where barely perceptible changes accumulate one by one.
Or else you can look at it as a series of snapshots, a deck of cards randomly and c ...more
“Remember Bennie Salazar?”
“Sure. He was that record producer who used to put the gold flakes in his coffee. Didn’t he used to be in a band?”
“Yeah, he was a wannabe punk rocker in the ‘80s. He was friends with Scotty back then.”
“Was Scotty normal then? Because I heard he’s completely shithouse-rat-crazy these days.”
“Oh, he’s totally insane. Hey, what was ...more
I hate this book. I HATE IT SO MUCH.
Is it well-written? Probably. Complex characters? Yeah, I'll give them that.
That being said, even reading one chapter of this leaves me so freaking depressed that I want to put it in the sink and light it on fire. Also, the characters may be complex, but I don't care what happens to any of them. I really don't. There's this ...more
I liked the PR/General chapter. I liked a description of old tattoos on saggy flesh. I liked the big fish caught in the East River. I really liked the sudden ju ...more
1. Unanimously positive critical reviews
2. Promise of electrifying writing or storytelling (see #1)
3. Fantastic title
4. Author, whose work I've never read, endorsed a petition in May 2016 in protest of the current president along with 450 other authors
The positive vibe didn't last long.
A Visit From the G ...more
Christmas Eve, 2011. The foreboding sheen of a room filled with excited anticipation and beautiful glimmering presents piled up under the Christmas tree. This traditional family habit blending festive elation with infantile sibling jealousy and rivalry ever fuels surreptitious reflections on the guileful art of giving. Every year, I ingenuously and silently wish for a book. (Oh frustration! Do you recognize this experience? Having to live with an avid or obsessive reader, people might think they ...more
I loved it. It wasn't a light read, even though it's fairly short. It had a unique format that works equally well as both a collection of short stories and a novel. It's a pretty gutsy narrative that requires some men ...more
Whereas Joyce used naturalistic prose to depict a specific time and place, Dublin, Ireland in the early twentieth century, author Jennifer Egan uses the same style and perspective to describe life in the late twentieth century, early twenty first century. Also like Joyce, Egan has structured her work into a series of loosely connected short stories, though Egan’s novel, or collection of short work, is more narratively connected than the earlier work. Likewise, Egan’ ...more
Luckily, here comes this book to prove to me I am not as indifferent as I would like to believe myself to be.
Another thing this book proves is that you can have a best selling colle ...more
I found myself reflecting on my own life, the trials and tribulations of these characters certainly struck a nerve with me ...more
The thirteen chapters of "A Visit from the Goon Squad" are like lily pads on a pond.
They encapsulate the lives of a group of people, a community, a human ecosystem, over a period of 50 years (only it doesn’t seem like that long).
We start on the pad nearest to us (which is not necessarily the present or the most recent story), then we look around and jump onto the other pads, one at a time, each choice made for us by Jennifer Egan, but not necessarily dictated by any apparent partic ...more
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?
- Ralph Hodgson
“Time’s a goon, right?”
- Bosco, a character from A Visit from the Goon Squad
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan is a unique book which defies analysis, probably because it breaks all conventions of storytelling. In fact, it does not tell a story at all. It tells many stories, not by traditional narration but by cameo glimpses into the intertwined life of a handful of characters connected with ...more
However, I rate books not so much on their literary merit, but on how much I enjoyed the book as a reader. I rate according to how engaged I was; how much I enjoyed the story, the characters, the t ...more
( First of all, I think I may be too un-American to really get this book. The dreams, hopes, expectations, definition of a happy and content life for most Indians are entirely different from all of Egan's characters. These stories won't fit in an Indian context. This may be a reason why this book didn't speak to me the same way as it did to many other readers. )
I can't help feeling that at least some of Egan's characters were responsible for wrecking thei ...more
A thing I find unbearable is the forced pathos of one-dimensional characters.
Take Benny, for instance. Benny can't get an erection. So he puts gold flakes in his coffee and stares at his assistant's tits with various degrees of discretion. We get it. Why then are we led through the ritual over and over? Benny starts his day with a coffee, stares at assistant's tits, self-scans and finds no erection. Later, in the car with the assistant, he stares at her tits. No reaction. Bu ...more
So, what did I think of this book? Absolutely beautiful at times. Was it consistent? No. Was it sad? Yes. Was it rewarding? Yes. Did the post-modern gimmick work in this book? I'm not sure.
And that is where most of my grippes come with this one. Because I couldn't help but feel that Egan ...more
I found this a very enjoyable read, and unusually consistent given the premise that each chapter focuses on a different character, some of them narrate for themselves and others use an omniscient narrator. The order in which the chapters are presented is very non-linear (covering a time span ...more
|ERADL Book Group: Discussion Question||6||1||8 hours, 56 min ago|
|what does the title mean?||11||313||Jul 03, 2019 02:33AM|
|Tournament of Books: A Visit from the Goon Squad||24||103||May 31, 2019 02:27PM|
|Reading 1001: A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan||4||28||Feb 19, 2019 10:14AM|
|Play Book Tag: (Trim) A Visit fro the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan - 4 stars||3||19||Feb 07, 2019 09:16AM|
|Around the Year i...: A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan||6||75||Jan 18, 2019 10:23AM|
|Books I Loathed: How did this book get a Pulitzer?||2||81||Jan 15, 2019 08:41PM|