A Visit from the Goon Squad

by Jennifer Egan

Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on A Visit from the Goon Squad

Winner of the Galaxy International Author of the Year Award 2011.

 

April 2011 Book of the Month.

 

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2011.

 

One of the 20 Longlisted titles for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011.

 

Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 10 Jul 2011.

A patchwork of lives and experiences are sewn together in this clever, edgy, beautifully written and spellbinding novel that is practically impossible to pigeon-hole in to a style or genre. With dry wit, dark humour the reader is taken on a journey with an ageing former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers.

 

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 14 April 2011.

A Visit from the Goon Squad Synopsis

Jennifer Egan's 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.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781849010337
Publication date: 17/03/2011
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Constable and Robinson
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781849010337
Publication date: 17th March 2011
Author: Jennifer Egan
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Constable and Robinson
Format: Paperback
Genres: Literary Fiction,
Categories:

About Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. A Visit from the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2011. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.   Author photo © Pieter Van Hattem

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