Music and Books
Whenever I hear the name Jennifer Egan, the novel A Visit from the Goon Squad pops into my mind. But I was nervous about reading it. Mostly, I was scared that I wouldn’t understand it. For some reason, I was certain it would be a Pynchon novel. While I do enjoy Pynchon, the narrative is not something I can get lost in while commuting to work.
Goon Squad is much more interesting than I had thought. Even more, Egan’s novel was making a challenge to the form in an innovative way. To put it simply, the novel has self-contained chapters that are packed with characters, different stories and settings. Once one chapter ends, you move to the next one. It doesn’t exactly pick up from where the last one left off. Instead, like a game of leap frog, we jump off of one random character and go down that road for twenty pages.
It’s obviously well-written, containing some interesting and complicated characters looking to either make it big in music or trying to piece together what went wrong in their lives. I was especially impressed by how absorbed I could be with a story within a powerpoint presentation (yes, it happens and it’s amazing!)
Years ago, I took a class on the Novel and we tried to discuss the genre. What I wouldn’t give to return to that class and discuss this book!