Monday, May 2, 2011

A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

2011's Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction caught me off guard. It's a generous sampling of names loosely affiliated within the music industry; publicists, producers, musicians, journalists, etc, all battling  themselves and the biggest goon of all, time.

Egan's novel has a genius formatting: it's versatile in it's 'short stories as a novel' of the Olive Kitteridge or The Imperfectionists variety, certainly. Throw in a magazine article and the slideshow chapter, and you have a concise example of post-modern fiction less intimidating than the likes of Danieleski and his House of Leaves.

The shaping of so many characters stories is done so artfully, that until the final segment, you still aren't positive of where it's all going. You see them interacting within the different circuits, and watch it come together, yet returning to the spot it began at... it's tricky and brilliant!

I loved that so much of the novel was about perseverance and adapting to time's changes. I won't try to articulate how special that is.

Alex imagined walking into her apartment and finding himself still there- his young self, full of schemes and high standards, with nothing decided yet. The fantasy imbued him with careening hope. He pushed the buzzer again, and as more seconds passed, Alex felt a gradual draining loss. The whole crazy pantomime collapsed and blew away.

By the end of this novel, you're amazed by what has been painted of the music industry, individuals, and the passage of time. It's deeply affecting.

A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
ISBN: 0307477479 

1 comment:

  1. Must be an enjoyable read A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.