Reviews in 200 Words

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

In Novel on July 15, 2010 at 4:01 am

This seems like several different stories; and it is, in a way. Different perspectives, different times and angles, but the same characters. Reading about these people, sitting in on their dirt, is almost as good as living their deviance. Sasha compulsively steals. Who hasn’t thought about how easy that would be–how fulfilling and risky to live that life? Bennie Salazar, Sasha’s boss, is an aging punk-rocker: his whole life has become hanging onto the hard-on–clinging to the feeling of being young. Bennie sprinkles actual gold flakes into his coffee–just to be addicted to the symbol of success. Egan’s characters are sympathetic the way your heart aches when you see an awkward kid who reminds you so much of yourself. No matter how old you are, this is like stepping back to your childhood. Egan gets away with things. She tells stories the way you’d tell them if you only had one breath. She makes you want to experience the awkwardness of admitting your faults, just to finally air them. She puts your life right up on a big screen, and points with a laser, just where you became aware, just where you finally grew up. 

-Micah Ling

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