Claire Fuller's Reviews > A Visit from the Goon Squad
A Visit from the Goon Squad
I've heard about this book for years but never picked it up because, without knowing anything about it, I'd assumed from the title, it was a comedy; and comedy in books never works for me. A Visit from the Goon Squad isn't a comic book, despite its lighter sections. It's a series of perfect short stories with characters reappearing at different points throughout their lives. I loved how Egan leaves it up to the reader to make the connections; they are never laboured. The Good Squad is time, and the stories are about not being able to escape it. Some of the most touching were when Egan showed those full of energy (albeit sometimes at the expense of others) at the end of their life (Lou), and she had me gulping back tears with the single line jump into Rolph's future. The chapters at the beginning and at the end are magnificent writing. But chapter 8 'Selling the General', where Dolly, a PR freelancer fallen on hard times takes a job working for a genocidal dictator and ends up in the jungle of an unnamed country could have been written by a different author. Was it supposed to be funny? (Did I say that comedy in books never work for me?) It was inane and poorly written. Skip over that one and it's a brilliant book. Read that one, and I'd still highly recommend it.
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