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A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan [Thoughts]

August 10, 2011
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Towards the end of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, the novel  abruptly continues the story-telling using power-point slides. It’s a marker signaling the not-so-distant future. At first,  distracting and gimmicky, but then kind of charming. This is because Jennifer Egan is a good writer (so no one else someone try this).  Anyway. It was at this point that I imagined her with a big timeline graph next to her computer where Egan probably charted all the characters’ lifetimes and carefully marked off where each one intersects the other.

I liked this book. Easy to read. Egan pulls of writing about several dozen characters and essentially stringing together a series of short stories. As with the ppt. style above, it’s not a narrative structure I easily warm to. But I liked it here, because (Egan is a good writer), she never leaves us hanging about what happens to any of the characters. She does a ‘Six-Feet-Under-Final-Episode‘ type montage for almost all of them.

The brief book discussion below is quite good. Someone says things like, “… I felt like there’s a crumbling mortality everywhere [in the novel]” … A phrase I ended up liking.

Go see and then go read.

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