Book Review: A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Time's a goon

A Visit From the Goon Squad

I adore dystopian fiction, the cancelled (and excellent) TV show Freaks and Geeks, non-linear plots, interconnected story lines  well-written bleak endings, and the film Almost Famous. Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad combines all of those elements (along with many others, whether she meant to or not) into what I will confidently proclaim the best book I read in 2012. A careful arrangement of dovetailing stories, Goon Squad visits 1980, Africa, New York City (several times), a studio apartment bathtub, the present, the near-future, a cocaine-filled penthouse, declining music producers’ boardrooms, San Francisco, high school, the desert and etc. via the appearances and reappearances of characters throughout the novel’s short stories (or chapters, whichever you prefer). Shifting between traditional narrative, PowerPoint images, text lingo, and perspectives, Egan’s characters and their stories reveal that, “Time’s a goon, right?”

-Signing off, Jenny Barrows (who would recommend this book to rock stars and wannabe rock stars…so that’s basically everyone)

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