A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Summary ~ A Visit From The Goon Squad ~ Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.




Pulitzer?!  What?!  Seriously?!  Okay, fine.  There’s always next year I guess.  A Visit From The Goon Squad was a cluster &%!@ of a book in my opinion.  I didn’t even start to grasp it until someone suggested that I should read it like I would a collection of short stories.  That made things easier but I continued to have issues.  Who is telling this story/chapter?  Why is this book getting soooo much praise, attention and awards?  Who is that guy?  Where did they go?  Scattered is a good way to describe the vibe of this book.  Now on the other hand I did enjoy some of the stories/chapters.  I related to some and was simply drop jawed at others. 

I just returned from One More Page Bookstore’s monthly book club meeting and this was the book we discussed.  It was interesting that out of the dozen women in attendance it was almost half and half on loving/hating A Visit From The Goon Squad.  It was an interesting discussion about the why and why nots of opinion and I gained insight on the book that I was lacking over the last few days while I was reading it.  “It reflects the scattered ways our lives move forward.”  “The disjointedness is what I hated about it.” “Those were some unlikable and tragic characters.” “The power point journal which is chapter 12 was my favorite!”  I did not like that chapter so much but will go back to reread it. 

I am torn on this book.  If I was giving it a rating based on the fact that it is categorized as a novel I give it a lower score (I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.com) but if I was to rate it on it as a collection of short stories I would rate each separately.  In that case, because I agree that that’s the way the book should be approached, I give it 6 out of 13.  There are thirteen chapters so that is where that number comes from. 

This is not a light read nor is it a book that can be considered an easy read in my opinion.  I think it should be read.  I think it should be questioned and discussed.  I don’t regret reading A Visit From The Goon Squad and though I don’t ever re-read books (except for Where The Red Fern Grows) I would heavily consider re-reading this one later down the road after a few visits from the goon squad.  😉  Thanks to Jenn’s Bookshelves for hosting this event at the charming and wonderful One More Page Books

{Rating 6 out of 13}