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A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan

RRP €12.80

A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Author Name Jennifer Egan

Book details for title
List Price:12.80
Format: Paperback, 197 x 130 x 22mm, 368pp
Publication date: 09 Jun 2011
Publisher: Corsair
ISBN-13: 9781780330969

Dubray Review

Winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, A Visit from the Goon Squad grabbed my attention immediately and held it right to the very last page. Superbly working the notion of six degrees of separation, Jennifer Egan weaves a tight narrative that involves many disparate characters from different walks and at different times of life, all linked by the common thread of the music industry. We first meet Sasha, whose compulsive kleptomania both appeals and appalls, but every character here suffers through self-destruction, redemption, loss, love and hope as we discover the beauty of the ties that bind. Despite the scope, Egan never loses sight of the direction and heart of the novel, constantly surprising us with how life and love can change us all. A book to be read and re-read, this has definitely been the reading highlight of my year so far.

Ann-Marie Dolan, Dubray Books Grafton St

Description

Jennifer Egan's spellbinding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other's pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa. We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist's couch in New York City, confronting her longstanding compulsion to steal. Later, we learn the genesis of her turmoil when we see her as the child of a violent marriage, then a runaway living in Naples, then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend. We meet Bennie Salazar at the melancholy nadir of his adult life - divorced, struggling to connect with his nine-year-old son, listening to a washed up band in the basement of a suburban house and then revisit him in 1979, at the height of his youth, shy and tender, reveling in San Francisco's punk scene as he discovers his ardor for rock and roll and his gift for spotting talent.We learn what became of his high school gang - who thrived and who faltered - and we encounter Lou Kline, Bennie's catastrophically careless mentor, along with the lovers and children left behind in the wake of Lou's far flung sexual conquests and meteoric rise and fall. "A Visit from the Goon Squad" is a book about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the stirrings and transformations set inexorably in motion by even the most passing conjunction of our fates. In a breathtaking array of styles and tones ranging from tragedy to satire to Powerpoint, Egan captures the undertow of self-destruction that we all must either master or succumb to; the basic human hunger for redemption; and the universal tendency to reach for both and escape the merciless progress of time in the transporting realms of art and music. This sly, startling, exhilarating work comes from one of our boldest writers.

Reviews

"Pitch perfect. . . . Darkly, rippingly funny. . . . Egan possesses a satirist's eye and a romance novelist's heart."--"The New York Times Book Review" "At once intellectually stimulating and moving. . . . Like a masterful album, this one demands a replay."--"The San Francisco Chronicle" "A new classic of American fiction."--"Time" "Audacious, extraordinary."--"Philadelphia Inquirer" "A spiky, shape-shifting new book. . . . A display of Egan's extreme virtuosity."--"The New York Times" "Wildly ambitious. . . . A tour de force. . . . Music is both subject and metaphor as Egan explores the mutability of time, destiny, and individual accountability post-technology."--"O, The Oprah Magazine" "The smartest book you can get your hands on."--"Los Angeles Times" "A rich and unforgettable novel about decay and endurance, about individuals in a world as it changes around them. . . . [Egan] is one of the most talen