A Visit from the Goon Squad

Finally. I’d had “Goon” on my “must read” list since late last year, and bought it for our summer vacation, only to pick up “Run” by Ann Patchett—and library books always come first since I don’t have that dreaded “dime a day” threat hanging over my head with something that I own.

“Goon” makes a for a great “in-between chores, work, soccer games, PTA meetings and other library books” kind of book because its setup is more like a series of character vignettes than a novel. That said, if you do take several months to read it, like I did, you may find yourself flipping back through earlier pages to re-acquaint yourself with characters that are thread throughout the book. Sasha, the red-headed klepto, Bennie, her one-time boss and record producer, Stephanie, Bennie’s ex, and her brother-the-rock-reporter Jules, Dolly, The General, Alex, Rob … too many to name but each so interesting.

If you like books that flow in chronological order and end with some sort of resolution, this isn’t the book for you. You will be annoyed. You probably won’t finish it.

If you like books that delve into character development by placing them in different physical locales and different predicaments (the African plains, a therapist’s office, the seedy side of Naples, in the basement of an all-girl band while snorting gold flakes) then you just may fall in love with this book. I am left with a certain sense of “Jigga wha?” — I want to know how Sasha’s story concludes—I want to know what happens to Bennie in his later years—but it also leaves me thinking about it, which ultimately, is any good author’s goal, right?

A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan

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