Amy Reads Books

Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit From The Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' is the most recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature; and it was that that really pushed me to buy the book having wanted to sink my teeth into it for quite some time. The book was really worth waiting to read.The synopsis on the back of the book would suggest that Sasha and Bennie Salazar were the two central characters and whilst they pop up throughout the novel, I would say that this is a novel with an ensemble of characters whose lives all intertwine at some certain point in each others lives. The books time span spreads from the punk-rock scene of the 1970s to a not so distant future; although the novel does not run in a linear manner. Despite only popping up in a couple of characters, or having on one character to develop as a character, all seem very three dimensional with their own individual traits. Some of my favourite story strands included the story of Dolly, a one-time PR agent whose career was ruined after a disastrous party and who is now working to keep up the appearances of an African general guilty of genocide; the first wife of Bennie, Stephanie, and her life in the world of the country club, and the final chapter which brought all the strands together through the character of Alex, who first appeared as a young man in the first chapter.In addition to spreading across time, Egan also plays with various tenses and perspectives. There is normal third person narrative, first person narrative, even second person narrative (where you the reader are the character)and, as was widely reported, an entire chapter told in Powerpoint, which is really clever within the context of the novel.I really enjoyed this novel, and pretty much raced through it. I loved each of the individual story strands and the way that they all intersected, with characters mentioned once in the previous chapter being the centre of the next. Egan has a brilliant writing style; and I really want to track down more of her writings.