Customer Reviews for

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Average Rating 3.5
( 494 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(144)

4 Star

(156)

3 Star

(104)

2 Star

(43)

1 Star

(47)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

A great collection of stories

This book is a collection of interlinked stories, but each one could easily stand on it's own as an excellent work of short fiction. They collectively give us a snapshot of the class system in modern America and an examination of where "art" ends in music and commercial...
This book is a collection of interlinked stories, but each one could easily stand on it's own as an excellent work of short fiction. 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. 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.

posted by Brad_the_nook_nerd on January 16, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

31 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

A great read with an eyesore in the middle for Nook readers

The publisher really should have taken a bit more time formatting this book for the Nook. (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...
The publisher really should have taken a bit more time formatting this book for the Nook. (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.

posted by cmichaelcook on May 3, 2011

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Worthless....

    I discovered the author as she was selected as one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World 2011. I was looking for a new author and what better recommendation than this. Well, it seems there is much more. The story is lacking in cohesiveness. It's a collection of vignettes loosely strung together with cute references to the language, drug use, sex and not-so-clever rock band names from the 60-70's. The writing is pedestrian, doesn't flow and certainly did not engage this reader (also a child of the 60's). I would recommend this work to college level creative writing students as an example of what not to do.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    Visit from the Goon Squad

    I enjoyed the almost web of characters. The author starts with two characters and then from the people they are in contact with tell their stories. By the middle to end of the book you see how they tie in together. However, with all the characters that were presented especially further along in the book I forgot who most of them were. Sasha who is one of the main characters is throughout the book, but I did not catch that until I dwelled on what I read later. I also did not like some of the content such as the drugs, sex and language. I am glad I finished it because it redeemed itself in my mind in the end but would not recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    This book just didn't do it for me. I was bored, there was no de

    This book just didn't do it for me. I was bored, there was no depth, and it seemed like it lack effort. I read it because the first chapter captivated me, and it won the Pulitzer prize. I was also interested in it because I grew up during that time in the punk scene and experience some of the same things the characters went through, but it was just very blah. I actually stopped reading it halfway through which is something I am so against, but I felt like I just needed to move on. This book just did nothing for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    My suggestion would be start a character list from the first pag

    My suggestion would be start a character list from the first page. Each chapter is a mini-story in itself, which were all great. However, it was next to impossible to follow along with the extensive list of characters, unless you plan to read the entire thing in one sitting. It was interesting but oh so frustrating. I definitely won't be rereading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2013

    Wow. what a complete disappointment. I had no emotional tie to a

    Wow. what a complete disappointment. I had no emotional tie to any character that was introduced in this (these) story (stories). I was really looking forward to reading it. And I read the entire book, just hoping there would finally be connection somehow. I did not care what happened literally to any one of these characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2013

    Another book group choice for which I could find very few redeem

    Another book group choice for which I could find very few redeeming qualities. I couldn't care less about the characters and made no effort to try to keep them straight in my mind. Maybe I'm still "analog".


    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Recommend with reservations.

    Not sure why this book won the Pulitzer. Although the writing was polished I had a hard time following the story line. Almost felt I needed an outline to follow the characters. This was recommended by our Book Club and we have not discussed yet so maybe I missed the whole point.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    Not all that

    I liked the concept, but didnt enjoy reading the book. I didnt connect with any character or get a sense of the point of the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2012

    Disappointing!

    I have read everything by Jennifer Egan. I usually devour her books. This book was absolutely painful to read. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters and the flow of the book was choppy at best. Each time I felt myself getting into the book, it would change gears, and not smoothly. I didn't even like the characters. Benny seemed smarmy. I finally gave up on it after about 100 pages. It's too bad!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Annoyingly disjointed. I stuck with the book for far too long,

    Annoyingly disjointed. I stuck with the book for far too long, in the hopes that the stories would "come together" and make some sense. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. In the future, I'll read customer reviews more carefully because it's clear from what others say that the book is lacking in plot and in flow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Weird

    That's pretty much it-tried too hard to be literary-only read half

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    I read some reviews, I saw that it won lots of awards, it's been

    I read some reviews, I saw that it won lots of awards, it's been compared to Borges and Calvino. Maslin says it's tough and uncategorizable. I tried hard to see it that way, but I can't see it as anything but a conventional story held together by interlocking characters and an awesome mastery of Powerpoint, which might excite an executive of Microsoft, but was boring to me. I like experimental fiction. I read Cortazar's "Hopscotch" the ways he suggested it be read. I really did, and enjoyed it. But this? Experimental? No way. Several of the chapters, or stories, are very moving and well written. I'm giving it a low rating because I feel like it's a case of the Emperor's clothes. And this book is mostly naked, after all the hype it's gotten.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    I'm not sure why this book won praise from the critics - may be

    I'm not sure why this book won praise from the critics - may be because they are bored with good books? It's an ugly mess, with no interesting characters, no real plot, nothing for anyone who just wants a decent (nevermind GOOD) read. Save yourself the $10 on this one if you want a novel that makes sense. If, however, you've been waiting for an ugly book about ugly people doing awful things, then this must be for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    This book is horrible!! I was in my 20s in the 80s and thought

    This book is horrible!! I was in my 20s in the 80s and thought i might enjoy this book, i was wrong. I read a lot, and enjoy a lot of different styles, but the disjointed chapters and the thoroughly depressing subject matter...I just can't get into it! Then there's the whole issue of reading it on the nook. Part of the book can not be read on an e reader! UG! I should have read all the reviews before I bought it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    This was pure torture

    I read this book for my book club and it was slow and convoluted from beginning to end. It was hard to follow the story line--assuming there was one. If you're into masochism, by all means, read this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    A truly wonderful read. Don't pass this one by.

    Egan has given us a wonderful, lovely gift. She's a master of our language. Her characters live because her prose, her dialog is so alive, her language so absolutely fitting... indeed, perfection. And, of course, she spins a powerful yarn. If your time is limited and you must pick the books to which you will devote some precious time, this is a worthwhile choice.

    alring

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Interesting Fare...

    This us a novel that will ultimately br studied in literary courses, ans,d deserves a place among the great American madterworks. Each chapter is captivating and interesting. Some if this is caused by a lack of a consistant chronology between the chapters. Even if the time always shifts to unexoected places, the characters stay present, making the connections that chronology cannot provide. The characters are deeply detailed, but each ounce of characterization is easily devoured. I highly suggest this novel. You won't regret readung it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Do not waste your time

    Terrible book, too many characters. Very confusing as to who is who and how they all relate to each other. One of the worst books I have ever read. I could hardly get through the whole thing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Pulitzer?

    What a joke.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Even better the second read.

    The first time I read A Visit From the Goon Squad I was struck by Jennifer's Egan's confident and unusual style of storytelling. The second time I was struck by how moving it is. There is a large cast of characters, and we get to know them from their own thoughts and from the point of view of others. This novel illustrates how time is unrelenting. With time and age, our passions will mutate and fade. The characters in this book share a passion for music. They turn that passion into a business or commodity or an excuse for inexcusable behavior. But then the next generation arrives and develops a new passion for music that is unique, innocent and pure. It's uplifting even though we know what will become of that passion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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