A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan is the best book I’ve read in a long time. This was the reintroduction to reading that I’ve been waiting for in 2020. I’m just sorry that it took almost four months to find it. This is a melancholy story about disaffected youth growing up to be disaffected adults. There is not much happiness to be found anywhere in the book but I didn’t leave the book unhappy. I was left blown away by how good the writing was.
I was a little lost at the beginning of the book but that’s the case for all books to some extent until you find your groove with the author, the story and the style. In this case I wish I’d known the structure of the book before heading into it. Every chapter is its own short story, but there will be a character in the current chapter who was a bit player in one of the previous stories. Knowing that ground rule would have made my introduction to the book easier.
As I read I was reminded of 100 Years of Solitude. I still rate that as my favorite book of all time but I haven’t read it in two decades. The similarities stem from the number of characters and how they all have their own stories which intertwine. I don’t think an author being compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez can ever be a bad thing.
Thumbs Up! I highly recommend this to anyone who was disgruntled as a teenager in America just don’t expect to be inspired by your achievements in middle age.