A Visit from the Goon Squad Paperback – Mar 22 2011
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“Pitch perfect. . . . Darkly, rippingly funny. . . . Egan possesses a satirist’s eye and a romance novelist’s heart.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“At once intellectually stimulating and moving. . . . Like a masterful album, this one demands a replay.”
—The San Francisco Chronicle
“A new classic of American fiction.”
“A spiky, shape-shifting new book. . . . A display of Egan’s extreme virtuosity.”
—The New York Times
“Wildly ambitious. . . . A tour de force. . . . Music is both subject and metaphor as Egan explores the mutability of time, destiny, and individual accountability post-technology.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“The smartest book you can get your hands on.”
—Los Angeles Times
“A rich and unforgettable novel about decay and endurance, about individuals in a world as it changes around them. . . . [Egan] is one of the most talented writers today.”
—The New York Review of Books
“It ends in the same place it starts, except that everything has changes, including you, the reader.”
—The New Republic
“Clever. Edgy. Groundbreaking. . . . Features characters about whom you come to care deeply as you watch them doing things they shouldn't, acting gloriously, infuriatingly human.”
—The Chicago Tribune
“Egan’s bravura fifth book samples from different eras (the glory days of punk; a slick, socially networked future) and styles (sly satire, moving tragedy, even PowerPoint) to explore the interplay between music and the rough rhythms of life.”
“Told with both affection and intensity, Goon Squad stands as a brilliant, all-absorbing novel for the beach, the woods, the air-conditioned apartment or the city stoop while wearing your iPod. Stay with this one.”
—Alan Cheuse, NPR’s All Things Considered
“Brilliant, inventive. . . . Emboldening. It cracks the world open afresh. . . . Would that Marcel Proust could receive [a copy]. It would blow his considerable mind. . . . Expect to inhale Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad. Then expect it to lodge in your cranium and your breastbone a good long while.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Frequently dazzling. . . . Egan’s expert flaying of human foibles has the compulsive allure of poking at a sore tooth: excruciating but exhilarating too.”
“If Egan is our reward for living through the self-conscious gimmicks and ironic claptrap of postmodernism, then it was all worthwhile. . . . [A] triumph of technical bravado and tender sympathy. . . . Turn up the music, skip the college reunion and curl up with The Goon Squad instead.”
—The Washington Post
“A Visit From the Goon Squad should cement [Egan’s] reputation as one of America’s best, and least predictable, literary novelists.”
—Taylor Antrim, The Daily Beast
“Brilliantly structured. . . . We are pulled right in. . . . [Egan is] a boldly intellectual writer who is not afraid to apply her equally powerful intuitive skills to her ambitious projects.”
“This is art at its best—as a bulwark against the goon, as it embodies everything at once.”
—Austin American Statesman
“An exhilarating, big-hearted, three-headed beast of a story. . . . We see ourselves in all of Egan’s characters because their stories of heartbreak and redemption seem so real they could be our own, regardless of the soundtrack. Such is the stuff great novels are made of.”
“For all its postmodern flourishes, Goon Squad is as traditional as a Dickens novel. . . . [Egan’s] aim is not so much to explode traditional storytelling as to explore how it responds to the pressures and opportunities of the digital age.”
“Egan has accomplished the tricky feat of using metafiction techniques without sacrificing old-fashioned story-telling. . . . A Visit from the Goon Squad has a circuitous structure that seems almost designed for our Internet rewired brains.”
—The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.
Visit the Jennifer Egan’s official website: www.jenniferegan.com
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Top Customer Reviews
A Visit from the Goon Squad is a unique and well written novel though I would classify it more of a collection of short stories. It tells individual memories from people (and family) involved in a record label that is struggling to remain relevant as time progresses.
The people in the book include musicians, producers, assistants, executives and publicists; but all of their memories don’t quite make a complete story, there are too many holes and it feels as though something is missing. While I enjoyed this book and the way it was written (though not the PowerPoint perspective!) I was left without any form of closure.
We meet many of the characters both as teenagers and then as adults and see that although life has moved in often unexpected directions, the desire to belong is still constant. Seeing Bennie Salazar's life from a number of different perspectives provides a series of links between the past and the present for both Bennie and those characters.
We meet Bennie Salazar at a low point in his adult life. Bennie is divorced and is struggling to connect with his nine-year-old son -- and then revisit him in 1979, at the height of his youth, enjoying San Francisco's punk scene, discovering his passion for rock and roll.
We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist's couch in New York City, confronting her long-standing compulsion to steal. Later we see her as the child of a violent marriage, then as a runaway living in Naples, and then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend.Read more ›
But forget categorization; Egan's work displays brash beauty as she delves into the power of shame, an emotion which makes one present in the moment as effectively as does fear or desire. The protagonist, Bennie, a famous music producer, catalogues his shame on the back of a parking ticket. His assistant, Sasha, deals with hers by compulsively shoplifting. The stories also follow the interlocking fates of compelling, tender and humourous characters: Bennie's high school crowd, Sasha's parents, her uncle and her suicidal friend.
As well as shame, Egan's themes include immortality, redemption and a longing to master time. She proves a fearless writer and takes risks by employing different points of view and unconventional styles including a 75-page interlude in power point. These edgy techniques range from jarring to brilliant but, overall, they unite to form a well-crafted collection that ventures vitally into new territory.
Most recent customer reviews
I picked this book up based on a recommendation from a friend of mine. And I'm happy to report that my friend was bang on. This was a great book. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2011 by DocDave
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this book. It's an easy read and I looked forward to reading it each day. Read morePublished on Sept. 8 2011 by SBuckle
This book is very unevn: interesting in parts and very uninteresting in parts. She loses the reader when she goes into esoteric details. Read morePublished on July 14 2011 by margret