Riona's Reviews > A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
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's review
Apr 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: i-guess-this-is-growing-up, multi-pov, music

Sometimes I feel the obligation to read prizewinning or super-hyped books, but I'm often disappointed by them. This one was actually pretty awesome though. It's kind of a contemporary Bildungsroman, centering around two characters, the washed-up record exec Bennie and his former kleptomaniac assistant, Sasha. Well, former assistant, probably forever kleptomaniac. Their stories are told in a series of loose vignettes featuring a cast of wacky characters, and the chapters jump around chronologically and vary in POV and style (including the much-talked-about Powerpoint chapter, which I really enjoyed).

No one in this novel is particularly likeable, but most of them are relatable. Crazy youth --> Middle age --> Wondering "What happened to me?" is a pretty common theme that I think a lot of people can identify with. Even though I'm only in my 20's, I still appreciated the thread of change and the passing of time throughout the narrative. I especially enjoyed the slightly speculative chapters set in the near-future.
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Quotes Riona Liked

Jennifer Egan
“I’m done. I’m old, I’m sad - that’s on a good day. I want out of this mess. But I don’t want to fade away, I want to flame away - I want my death to be an attraction, a spectacle, a mystery. A work of art.”
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan
“I felt no shame in these activities, because I understood what almost no one else seemed to grasp: that there was only an infinitesimal difference, a difference so small that it barely existed except as a figment of the human imagination, between working in a tall green glass building on Park Avenue and collecting litter in a park. In fact, there may have been no difference at all.”
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan
“I can't tell if she's actually real, or if she's stopped caring if she's real or not. Or is not caring what makes a person real?”
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan
“Everybody sounds stoned, because they're e-mailing people the whole time they're talking to you.”
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad
tags: p123

Reading Progress

April 12, 2011 – Shelved
October 20, 2011 – Started Reading
October 24, 2011 –
page 226
October 30, 2011 – Finished Reading

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