Wednesday, February 29, 2012

12.01 A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

A Visit From The Goon Squad (2010) by Jennifer Egan

You know, I really need to be more careful about this habit I have of occasionally getting sucked into reading these contemporary "prize-winning" novels. The hype more often than not masks poor storytelling. Anyway, I liked the sound of this book. It seemed to have an 80s music vibe and had come out atop many folks best of 2011 reading lists.

In the end though I was underwhelmed. The story (if you can call it that) is loosely based on a group of young people in the 80s who form a moderately successful band. The chapters are really interconnected short stories that feature many of these characters in the contemporary world. Some are successful, some not but most are still involved in the music industry.

The author obviously tried to do something different with the book by playing with structure - there is a whole chapter laid out like a PowerPoint presentation - to varied effect. Don't waste your time here.

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