A Visit from the Goon Squad

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A Visit from the Goon Squad Fiction

2.5 out of 5 stars

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Product Description

A New York Times Book Review Best Book. Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here, Jennifer Egan reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. 340p.

Editorial Reviews

";Time's a goon,"; as the action moves from the late 1970s to the early 2020s while the characters wonder what happened to their youthful selves and ideals. Egan (The Keep, 2006, etc.) takes the music business as a case in point for society's monumental shift from the analog to the digital age. Record-company executive Bennie Salazar and his former bandmates from the Flaming Dildos form one locus of action; another is Bennie's former assistant Sasha, a compulsive thief club-hopping in Manhattan when we meet her as the novel opens, a mother of two living out West in the desert as it closes a decade and a half later with an update on the man she picked up and robbed in the first chapter. It can be alienating when a narrative bounces from character to character, emphasizing interconnections rather than developing a continuous story line, but Egan conveys personality so swiftly and with such empathy that we remain engaged. By the time the novel arrives at the year ";202-"; in a bold section narrated by Sasha's 12-year-old daughter Alison, readers are ready to see the poetry and pathos in the small nuggets of information Alison arranges like a PowerPoint presentation. In the closing chapter, Bennie hires young dad Alex to find 50 ";parrots"; (paid touts masquerading as fans) to create ";authentic"; word of mouth for a concert. This new kind of viral marketing is aimed at ";pointers,"; toddlers now able to shop for themselves thanks to ";kiddie handsets";; the preference of young adults for texting over talking is another creepily plausible element of Egan's near-future. Yet she is not a conventional dystopian novelist; distinctions between the virtual and the real may be breaking down in this world, but her characters have recognizable emotions and convictions, which is why their compromises and uncertainties continue to move us.Another ambitious change of pace from talented and visionary Egan, who reinvents the novel for the 21st century while affirming its historic values.First printing of 60,000 Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:

2.5 out of 5

Total Reviews: 2, Write A Review

  • easy/breezy

    3 out of 5

    Written by , Posted on at 5:06:23 PM

    I definitely did NOT enjoy reading this book, as it was light and breezy and quick, which is a much needed break from what I usually read, which is slow and depressing. However, I've never been a fan of the kind of book where we follow all these desperate characters and soon learn how their lives will intertwine by the end of the book. Ending was way to neat and tidy.

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