Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Visit from the Goon Squad


A Visit from the Goon Squad won the Pulitzer Prize along with a long list of other prizes. It's about a plethora of people and how their lives are interconnected over many decades. So far the story line goes back and forth in time and I can't figure out exactly where the book is going because it's not sequential. I like books like this; where you aren't sure what's going to happen next. I know I am not going to give a good description of the book, so I am going to let the internet do that for me.

Here is the New York Times book review: nytimes

I did read that book reviewers have argued about whether or not the book is a novel or a collection of short stories. Each of the chapters could be read in any order. So far, I would characterize it as a novel because I think you need to have the previous chapter's information to really understand what's going on or who's who in the next chapter.
Read it and let me know what you think: Novel or collection of short stories? 



  1. I'm glad that someone else I know has read this! Let me know when you finish it... I read it over the summer on the beach and had a love/hate relationship with the book. While I was reading it, I was distracted by the timeline and the many characters. I would find myself flipping back through the book to figure out what was what and who was who (whom?). But when I finished it, I immediately realized I was wishing there was more to each person's story for me to continue reading. It was so weird, definitely a book that I appreciated more as after it was over, as a whole, than chapter-by-chapter while I was reading it. I LOVED the chapter told by the girl in power point form! I know that had to be your favorite, too!!

  2. I just realized that I wrote a review for this book right after I read it:

    A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

    I had picked up and put down this book many times over, never quite captured by the back cover story. Finally, I decided that I would buy it for my beach vacation, thinking that I would surely get through it in the first few days of my trip, judging from the hype surrounding it. Well, let’s say I was a little disappointed in my choice to bring this along as a “beach read”. Between catching waves on the boogie board, beach walks, runs up to the house for more beverages, and naps on the sand, it was difficult to get into the book.

    The story jumps from character to character, at first seemingly disjointed, but then, finally, intertwined. It was hard to know whose story was whose, since it jumped from third to first person and back again. It took a lot of shuffling back to earlier pages to piece together parts of the greater story line, which, overall, wasn’t much of a story line. It was more of a greater “theme”, which was of how does one get from A to B, youth to old age, success to failure, failure to success. This theme came across through a multitude of screwed up lives.

    Overall, I enjoyed this book once it was over, but while I was reading it, I had a hard time getting through. But, like I said, once it was over, I found myself thinking about the characters and their lives and how everything came together. I especially enjoyed the last part of the story, which is told in Power Point “slide journal” format of a 12 year old girl.