9 Following

Words, Words, Words

A catalog of my comments and thoughts on books, reading, and writing as well as anything I come across that seems interesting. I used to sell other people's words at an independent bookstore but now I hope to get by on selling my own.

A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan

If you take the opportunity to read Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad, I recommend giving it a the proper time and attention. It is a wonderful, fractured tapestry, linking a host of perspectives over a period over half a century without losing it's intimacy. In a way, it could be seen as a collection of a dozen or so vignettes, but not really. Like the cover art, which I initially didn't like but now at least understand, each scene seems unrelated, but they make more sense placed together as a novel than they would trying to stand on their own.


I say to pay attention because they are very interconnected but in a vast, city-like way that made me initially think back to James Joyce's Dublin. The book doesn't fall apart if you don't catch that the grandson of a Samburu warrior  in chapter seven is Lulu's (La Doll's daughter; La Doll who was Stephanie's boss when she was married to Bennie) boyfriend in the finale. Still, coming back after a few days in Camus and Poe, I was haunted at the prospect of missed connections (You were Sasha's boyfriend in Rob's chapter, I was at my desk and wanted to ask if she mentioned you to her psychiatrist in chapter one, set ten years later). The end cleaves things together a little too cleanly and set about ten years in the future that seems to flirt with satire. For the record, i generally recommend not flirting with satire, for just two chapters of a realistic book she makes some specific setting choices for the future, it feels like an odd addition.


My own insecurities aside, I enjoyed the hell out of this book and recommend you read it.