A Visit From the Goon Squad

A Visit From the Goon Squad

3.6 493
by Jennifer Egan
     
 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594135736
Publisher:
Gale Group
Publication date:
04/03/2012
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
580
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

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A Visit from the Goon Squad 3.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 493 reviews.
cmichaelcook More than 1 year ago
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.
Brad_the_nook_nerd More than 1 year ago
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.
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. Loved it. Just read it and read it soon.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Record-company executive Bennie Salazar wonders where the years went as he listens to another horrific band of young untalented egos that believe they belong at the top. 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 1970s 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. Harriet Klausner
theshippingnews More than 1 year ago
I think it might be a little misleading to call this book a novel. It reads more like a well-executed exercise from a graduate writing program. The characters were interesting, but that's the best I can say. I'm not sure I felt any depth of emotion for any of them, which I find helps me connect a little better with a story. Just didn't happen here. Seems to me that this should have been a novel about Sasha, but the author just couldn't manage to pull it off. The disjointed leaps in time and location certainly didn't help. Elizabeth Strout managed this much better in Olive Kitteridge. Still, it's worth a try. Just don'ty spend too much on it. It isn't worth hardcover prices.
DearReader More than 1 year ago
This book is a masterpiece. Although all of the chapters are excellent, I was probably 3-4 chapters in before I was hooked. Then by the end I couldn't get over how delicately the narrative was constructed; out of sequence but still surprising me completely again and again. I recommend this book to people who like books with heavy character development, and interesting structure.
write2larryc More than 1 year ago
Egan is a brilliantly economic writer whose literary chops are on full display here. Though some might be disappointed not to find a linear novel in Goon Squad, there is a pulsing energy to each and every one of these stories ("Safari" and "Selling the General" were my favorites), and each story is threaded together with familiar themes and characters. The penultimate tale, however--the much-discussed Powerpoint presentation--seems a bit too artsy and post-modern cool for my taste. To be fair, it wasn't the actual technique I didn't like (I'm all for writers taking chances and the characters in this one were no less engaging), it was the sheer volume of pages it took up. Though great for the Nook, in printed form it looks wasteful, as wasteful as many of the characters that inhabit Goon Squad (and perhaps that is Egan's point, but for me it just took too many pages to be worthwhile). Otherwise, there is not much I would change here. Indeed if I wished anything different of Egan's stories is that they could have been drawn out into novellas and novels of their own. But of course that criticism is only praise in disguise. Time is a goon and this goon is done...
DenizenKate More than 1 year ago
The NYT reviewer has it right: uncategorizable. If you're looking for a novel with a plot, a beginning, middle, and end, this isn't it. If you're looking for a good read that's different and in many ways refreshing, buy this book. However, if you are reading it on a Nook or other e-reader, beware of the chapter that is POV a young girl in the near future and is all in powerpoint-like graphs -- you can increase the font size all you want, you'll still need a magnifying glass to read them. Bad planning on the part of the publisher.
ayushi30 More than 1 year ago
A Visit from the Goon Squad is about the passage of time and its effects on Sasha and Bennie, the two protagonists. The plot jumps between Benny and Sasha, showing them first as their present day selves, then delving into their pasts to explore how they got to their current situation, and finally progressing with them through their lives. The reader is introduced to a host of characters, who may seem trivial at first, but all come back to play a role in the protagonists' lives later on. In this way, Egan's book can only be described as a literal interpretation of life itself in its most raw and basic form. My compliments to Jennifer Egan for writing truly remarkable book. Although the beginning was a little confusing, I soon adjusted to and came to enjoy her unique writing style. The book was very engaging and every character brought a new dynamic to the story. My favorite chapter would have to be the one written in slide journal, and intriguing concept that I've never come across before but, in my opinion, a very effective one. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone, and even TIME magazine agrees with me: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1997438,00.html If you would like to read more of my reviews please visit my blog at ayushi30.blogspot.com
Lindsay13md More than 1 year ago
This book was AWFUL. I cannot believe that this book has been so well reviewed. Do people think it is clever because all of the chapters/characters are inter-connected? The characters are neurotic and the storylines bizarre. SO disappointing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I appreciate the kudos Egan has received for writing a novel so loosely woven, I did not fully appreciate this story simply because I could not follow the thread. I spent a large amount of time trying to figure out what I was reading and what contribution it had to the "whole" of the story. In fact, I'm not sure I ever really got the "whole" of this story. This jumble of more-or-less vignettes left me fairly ambivalent about the characters and this book.
yuliyab More than 1 year ago
different writing style sometimes overdone but all in all-an alright book
Octospark More than 1 year ago
Kaleidoscopically interweaving the hopes and dreams, successes and failures, thoughts and actions of a vast array of utterly compelling characters, Jennifer Egan knocks it out of the park with GOON SQUAD. I found this novel--its centrifuge the punk-rock scene of San Francisco in the late 70's and outward from there--riveting from start to finish. It is funny, heartbreaking, poignant, honest, and both innovative and intricate in its conveyance of these desperate, lost, brilliant people and the traversing of their lives across several decades, states, countries, vocations, fates, destinies, and deaths. It's also a thrillingly surprising narrative. Never had any idea where it was going to go. Chapter 12 alone floored me. Floored. Being a Pulitzer-junkie, I always run right out and purchase whatever novel wins the prize (if I have not already read it, I mean) and 90% of the time I feel disappointed in the winner, thinking, 'Wait--why did this book win? It's really not that good.' Well, I understand why GOON SQUAD won the Pulitzer for fiction. And I concur. I will not easily forget it. It was a wild ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've done terrible things to people I love dearly. I can relate to the indie spirit of punk rock and the expectations of the adult world. I've held my beautiful son in my hands, as well as a needle. I've experienced the delusional rush of drugs, and the poignant ironies of aging ... I've believed, I've scoffed ... all of which make Jennifer's novel a touchstone. She has captured something magical (not necessarily pretty) about the human experience and the redemption possible after wasted youth. I couldn't recommend a book any more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
JudithMoMo More than 1 year ago
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.
Yani1 More than 1 year ago
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".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
JuniperJenny More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
RJAP More than 1 year ago
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.