A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (A Book Review)

First, a confession. I haven’t been reading lately. Perhaps books and I are in an it’s not me it’s you type of situation. Maybe it’s because my routine has been a solid lack of one. In any case, I thought I’d jump back into my love for words with A Visit From The Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan.

Andy, you Goonie!

Third, I am thrilled she won a Pulitzer for her efforts. This book is far from typical. The narrative skips through story lines, centuries, and points of views like they were three-dimensional squares on a hopscotch court; one chapter is written through a power point presentation, another a celebrity interview, and finally one suicidal character comes to life through the use of second person.

Second, you aren’t sure you liked it. She rubbed your nose in it. She is a talented writer and you are not. You are jealous and lost for words. You don’t want to be whatever it is that you are (seriously, where have the words gone?). You want to publish a novel. She managed to pull several short stories into a single cohesive, yet disconnected, novel. Some of those stories were previously published in The New Yorker. You shake your fist in the air and ask, Isn’t that just showing off? You think so, maybe, but you shouldn’t shake your fist, it’s unbecoming of you.  That is why you are unsure if you liked the best written book you’ve read in the last several years. You are so unsure that you vow to never try second person again until you have published several novels.  You should then learn how to count.

Last, friendship may prevail, but ultimately time conquers us all. “Time’s a goon, right?” Yes, indeed. Read this book.

Categories: Book Review, Confession, Creative Writing, Goonies, Quotes, Stream of Conscious

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Ha! I haven’t read the book, but I think you managed to capture the mood.

  2. Sounds like an interesting read. I have been looking for a great transmedia book to pick up. Thanks for pointing this one out.

  3. Great post, it made me laugh. And I liked the second person point-of-view, although I agree it is difficult. I wrote one short story once in the second person, intriguingly also about a suicidal character, and that’s enough for me for a while.
    As for this book, I have seen it here and there and have been curious about it, but I think now I will definitely need to order it in the near future.

    • Thank you! Yea, I’m not convinced second person is right for me.

      Yes you are.

      You will let eD know what you think of the book. Yes you will. The pendulum has swung. you are getting sleepy. you will read the book, but only after you wake up.

      Wow, sorry. Sometimes it second person jumps out of your, whoops, my, fingertips.

      Thanks again!

      • Hahaha, I do believe you’re coming down with a rare case of SPPD – Second Person Perspective Syndrome. It can only be cured by talking about yourself a lot – either the first person or third person should suffice. 😛
        And yes I shall certainly let you know my thoughts on the book when I read it eventually.

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