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!Read Pdf Ñ A Visit from the Goon Squad ⚤ Jennifer Egan S Spellbinding Interlocking Narratives Circle 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 AfricaWe First Meet Sasha In Her Mid Thirties, On Her Therapist S Couch In New York City, Confronting Her Long Standing Compulsion To Steal Later, We Learn The Genesis Of Her Turmoil When We See Her As The Child Of A Violent Marriage, Then As A Runaway Living In Naples, Then As A College Student Trying To Avert The Suicidal Impulses Of Her Best Friend We Plunge Into The Hidden Yearnings And Disappointments Of Her Uncle, An Art Historian Stuck In A Dead Marriage, Who Travels To Naples To Extract Sasha From The City S Demimonde And Experiences An Epiphany Of His Own While Staring At A Sculpture Of Orpheus And Eurydice In The Museo Nazionale 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 , 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 Sly, Startling, Exhilarating Work From One Of Our Boldest Writers Normally I don t start reviewing books before I ve finished them, but saying how much I hate this book at the halfway point is cathartic.I hate this book I HATE IT SO MUCH Is it well written Probably Complex characters Yeah, I ll give them that That being said, even reading one chapter of this leaves me so freaking depressed that I want to put it in the sink and light it on fire Also, the characters may be complex, but I don t care what happens to any of them I really don t There s this one part where a guy almost gets eaten by a lion no, it doesn t make sense in context I found myself wishing that the lion had gotten everyone At least it would have been interesting See Ray Bradbury s The Veldt for an example of how lions eating all of the characters can forward your plot THAT man could make a short story stand up and sing I also don t really know where this book is going, other than Life is awesome when you re young and free and sucks when you are old and have responsibilities and belong to the local country club Oh yeah, and then you die Probably in a painful manner resulting from your poor life choices Well, fan fucking tastic, I am so glad I get so many hours of enjoying THAT message If this book wasn t for book club, i would have stopped after the first chapter And though I have always pushed through books for book club before, this may be the first that I don t finish.I hate this book This deserves the Pulitzer like Titanic deserved the Academy Award for best picture Yeah, I get it, Egan wrote a chapter in PowerPoint, she s soooooo innovative I ve made 30 PowerPoint presentations in my life, where s my goddamn award Um, this is just BAAAAAAD Bold face, capital letters BAD Absolutely awful What..were..they..thinking Oh, I forgot, they weren t When did the Pulitzer become the Puke litzer I ll never again trust that prize designation except with books from a long time ago Don t be fooled by the first chapter, which is not too bad Sort of an interesting start, about a kleptomaniac aging punk rock chick After that, FORGET IT Dumpster filler A lot of people make a big mention of the PowerPoint section of the book Cool gimmick, right But as far as I m concerned, there s too much emphasis in the book on cough cough power points in general, if ya know what I mean Left a bad taste in my mouth, and in the mouths of some of the characters, no doubt So aside from the gamahuche and other potency obsessions, there s a lot of cocaine and ludes and really bad punk rock song lyrics Oh, and a lot of really annoying, unlikeable characters who seem to substitute therapy for actually getting on with their lives.I wouldn t have been so hard on this book had it not been given such a prestigious award I never would have even tried to read it if not for the Pulitzer Since when did gimmicky books with no substance merit consideration for literary awards Was this really the best they had to choose from I doubt it I m now fully convinced that the Pulitzer Prize has become a purely political handout dropped into some lucky writer s trick or treat bag BOO Spoiler alert You will get old You will die Things will never be like they are right now And yet, how things are right now will determine how they are in the future This is so.The goon in the title of this book is time It opens with a quote from Proust, the poet laureate of memory, about how we cannot recapture the people we were in past the places where we were those people, but rather that those people exist within us, always And that, it seems to me, is or less the book, in a nutshell But, oh, how it gets there How the story unfolds stories, really is breathtaking This the best book I ve read this year.A collection of narratives they aren t really stories centered around various record industry denizens an aging producer, his assistant, her college best friend, the producer s mentor, his wife s brother, a publicist, etc Goon Squad is a novel about lives It opens with Sasha, the beautiful, troubled assistant to record producer Bennie Salazar and continues on through a host of characters who knew them And knew is the word here, for the lesson of the book seems to be that we are not the same people we were before Those people are dead, and yet the people we all became the sagging, sad, tired, knowing people we are now those people are inextricably tied to the people we were We are simultaneously incapable of recovering what was lost and yet bound to know what it is that we re missing.Does this sound like the book is horribly, horribly sad It isn t It s beautiful and clever and very smart, and, okay, a little bit heartbreaking One of my favorite aspects of the book is how it deals with technology Facebook, in the novel, is a kind of memory, excavating lost lives from the ether, reconnecting people with the people they were beforeor at least the people they knew before And in the end, it s a burst of horrible, relentless technology that seems to save the music business And one of the most powerful chapters of the book is told in powerpoint To wrench soul from the teeth of a Microsoft product is truly a feat unto itself In fact, this book may be one of the most subtly speculative works of fiction I ve read It presents a future near enough to include all of us, close enough to be recognizable, and still strangely different from where we are today.I realize this review dances around the book It tells you what the book is about without really telling much of what the story is And that s because the story of the book wouldn t sound like much on its own Some people grow up They work in the music business Their friends die, and then so does their business But those people keep going They have lives and love affairs and children They make new friends and rediscover people they assumed were dead Their lives cross with one another in myriad ways And then they cross again I keep returning, again and again to the section on Jocelyn, a girl who ran away from home to be with a record producer, a man who spit her out almost before he was done chewing her up The passage is on page 65, and it s one of several haunting paragraphs in Jocelyn s section We stand there, quiet My questions all seem wrong How did you get so old Was it all at once, in a day, or did you peter out bit by bit When did you stop having parties Did everyone else get old too, or was it just you Are other people still here, hiding in the palm trees or holding their breath underwater When did you last swim your laps Do your bones hurt Did you know this was coming and hide that you knew, or did it ambush you from behind This book, it ambushed me. hell s bells believe this hype.this book is the saddest, truest, wisest book i have ever read in a single day which is not to belittle it my tear assing through it is because i did not want to stop reading it and resented any interruption that tried to get in my way i am someone who plans things i have timetables in my head i have to, in order to get everything done nothing important, just at 8 00 i will untangle my necklaces while i watch my netflix at 10 00, i will fold my laundry and then pay bills, etc etc this book ruined all of my good intentions i read straight through one mental time allotment after another, leaving dishes unwashed and e mails unanswered and i did not care one bit as i read, i kept thinking, this is exactly right this woman gets it, this is just what i was talking about the other day because karen has been doing a little bit of dwelling lately, and this book really captured so many universals of youth, adulthood and the rest she knows just how to twist the knife.everyone has been praising this book since it came out, but all i knew going into it was that there was a powerpoint chapter and a dfw chapter which i had already read, at greg s command, months ago i didn t even know they were stories that combined to show facets of people s lives in different times and places and stages and manifestations i didn t know who would attain closure and who would fade away, i just thought it was another book by the lady who wrote invisible circus i had read invisible circus years ago and had been unimpressed, and then i start hearing all this talk about look at me and how it is this incredible book, but i looked at the cover and i thought no, thank you.i am pretty sure i bought the keep, but it got sucked into one of the stacks here, never to resurface but then this comes out and greg and tom fuller are praising it to the heavens, and then tom gives me his copy to have forever, so i pretty much have to read it i do not disobey my work dad.and as always, father knows best i have never seen crash because they tell me it is retarded, but i did see 21 grams and babel and as perros and 11 14 and all of those others disjointed narratives where one thing affects another thing and it s all connected, man as perros is the only one you need to see from the above list , but how often does it really work, and how often is it just flashy storytelling to compensate for lack of a true plot it s the same in the litworld i thought michael cunningham s the hours did it really well, and this well, this makes it work perfectly because it is less about the impact an action has upon others than having the opportunity to understand a character s motivations from witnessing snapshot chapters from different periods and the oh god not again it is like a sneeze zeitgeist of the pop cultural punk rock ical and historical climates of these poor broken characters.but elizabeth it is not a downer it is not one of my downer books it is gently nostalgic and bewildered definitely bewildered she was thinking of the old days, as she and bennie now called them not just pre crandale but premarriage, preparenthood, pre money, pre hard drug renunciation, preresponsibility of any kind, when they were still kicking around the lower east side with bosco, going to bed after sunrise, turning up at strangers apartments, having sex in quasi public, engaging in daring acts that had than once included for her shooting heroin, because none of it was serious they were young and lucky and strong what did they have to worry about if they didn t like the result, they could go back and start again i mean gutpunch.this kind of blithe optimism is exactly what touched me when i was reading shiver shake remember being indestructible i sure do this is also one of the few works where 9 11 is used tastefully and or less subtly, and the absence of the buildings is worked very well into the pervasive loss that holds this book together the NYU chapter is greg s favorite, and it is both heartbreaking on its own and bittersweet for me because it could have very easily been me i remember sunwarmed fire escapes between classes and bobst and for me it was mamoun s falafel, but regardless it was both familiar and far away i liked the naples chapter best, because for me it is storytelling 101 a perfect story and the last line kills me because muttered is the best possible word there, and it complicates what could have been a very easy and pat ending jennifer egan i luvs you.come to my blog