A Visit From the Goon Squad

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Don't you have, like, security? There was a mild ripple of interest from the lobby. He was angry, and the anger made him recognizable in a way that an hour of aimless chatter mostly hers, it was true had not: he was new to New York.

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He came from someplace smaller. He had a thing or two to prove about how people should treat one another. Two security guys showed up, the same on TV and in life: beefy guys whose scrupulous politeness was somehow linked to their willingness to crack skulls.

They dispersed to search the bar. Sasha wished feverishly that she'd left the wallet there, as if this were an impulse she'd barely resisted. The bathroom was empty. Sasha opened her purse, took out the wallet, unearthed her vial of Xanax, and popped one between her teeth. They worked faster if you chewed them. As the caustic taste flooded her mouth, she scanned the room, trying to decide where to ditch the wallet: In the stall? Under the sink?

The decision paralyzed her. She had to do this right, to emerge unscathed, and if she could, if she did-she had a frenzied sense of making a promise to Coz. The bathroom door opened, and the woman walked in. Her frantic eyes met Sasha's in the bathroom mirror: narrow, green, equally frantic.

There was a pause, during which Sasha felt that she was being confronted; the woman knew, had known all along. Sasha handed her the wallet. She saw, from the woman's stunned expression, that she was wrong. In a satirical and oddly touching book, Egan brings to life the recent past, captures the confusions and ambiguities of the present, and speculates about the future of America. I began A Visit from the Goon Squad without a clear plan, following my own curiosity from one character and situation to the next. My guiding rules were only these: 1 Each chapter had to be about a different person.

This last was especially important; since I ask readers to start over repeatedly in A Visit from the Goon Squad , it seemed the least I could do was provide a total experience each time. In other words, you can read this book without making a single connection between any two chapters.

They were written—and published—as individual pieces, apart from the book as a whole. None of that matters. The point is to have fun reading a tangle of stories in a lot of contrasting styles. A Visit from the Goon Squad shifts among various perspectives, voices, and time periods, and in one striking chapter pp. What does the mixture of voices and narrative forms convey about the nature of experience and the creation of memories?

Here’s Why You Should Read This Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel by Jennifer Egan

Why has Egan arranged the stories out of chronological sequence? What does Bosco mean? What does Bennie mean? What does the author mean? What do the tone and the content of these sections suggest about the purpose and value of therapy? Do they provide a helpful perspective on the characters? What do his relationships with Rhea and Mindy have in common?


  1. Jennifer Egan’s ‘Visit From the Goon Squad’ - The New York Times!
  2. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®?
  3. Mein kleines großes Leben (German Edition).

To what extent do both women accept and perhaps encourage his abhorrent behavior, and why to they do so? Is he basically the same person he was in the earlier chapters? Why does Scotty decide to get in touch with Bennie? What strategies do each of them employ as they spar with each other? Musicians, groupies, and entertainment executives and publicists figure prominently in A Visit from the Goon Squad. Discuss how specific details and cultural references e.

The chapters in this book can be read as stand-alone stories. Which characters or stories did you find the most compelling? By the end, does everything fall into place to form a satisfying storyline? Read the quotation from Proust that Egan uses as an epigraph p. What impact do changing times and different contexts have on how the characters perceive and present themselves?

Are the attitudes and actions of some characters more consistent than others', and if so, why? For a complete list of available reading group guides, and to sign up for the Reading Group Center enewsletter, visit: www. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books.

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A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan - Review | | BookPage

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Interview: Jennifer Egan on A Visit from the Goon Squad

Or any ereader, really. I've heard the following complaint from users of competing readers as well. In the chapter that's written in Powerpoint format, the "slides" really are too small to be read comfortably on the Nook. They fill less than half the page, and unless you're in a brightly lit room with good eyes or glasses you'll probably strain to read the pages.

And no, changing the font size doesn't do anything to improve the situation. Shame on Knopf Doubleday for glossing over this important factor. It's a disservice to readers of the ebook and the author. They collectively give us a snapshot of the class system in modern America and an examination of where "art" ends in music and commercialism begins.


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  • Many of the characters could be the basis of an excellent novel and their reappearance from different views over many decades of narrative gives a novel-like depth to them. By writing as a collection of stories, Ms. Egan is able to experiment with different voices and styles of writing which make reading the collection more interesting. I was also quite intrigued by the presentation of one story in a non-traditional format that dominates much of my professional communication don't want to give the details away.

    I found the final story somewhat weak compared to the rest, partially due to it's futuristic setting; nonetheless, I understand it's placement and purpose in the collection. Anonymous More than 1 year ago I bought this book due to the favorable reviews online and in The Daily Beast. While I admire the different approach that Egan enlisted I found the book hard to follow and quite frustrating. I was very ready to put the book down and start another.

    Anonymous More than 1 year ago I loved this book for many reasons. First, it was told in stories or separate narratives. I love this. Second, it was a rich interweaving story about music, failure, rebounding, and how passing time doesn't always heal wounds. Third, it is a wistful but not necessarily sad story about how we weave in and out of each others lives. Fourth, It left me feeling refreshed, nostalgic, and reflective.

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    Loved it. Just read it and read it soon. Divorced, he feels removed from his tweener son as if he still lives in analog and the kid is digital. Bennie thinks back to the late s in the Bay area when he was young and part of the punk band Flaming Dildos that thought they belonged at the top. Bennie's former assistant Sasha is a mother hiding out in the desert after a youthful life of impulsive thieving. Her tweener daughter Alison thinks her mom is out of step with the digital world. Meanwhile Bennie meets Alex who dated Sasha. He later hires him to obtain the services of fifty paid "parrots" to pretend to be fans of a group performing at a concert.

    His target audience he informs Alexis is the silent future majority who text rather than speak. The key to the five decades of Bennie and others is what happens to a person when cynical age fueled by addictions and complacencies overcomes youthful rebellious fervor. Character driven with a powerful ensemble cast who all seem fully developed, the loci points anchor the epic story line are Bennie and Sasha. Jennifer Egan is a virtuoso as readers will relish the changes of the information age as music is a terrific milieu as the industry travels from vinyl to cassettes to CDs to DVDs; mirroring society.