a visit from the goon squad

I’m not sure what the visit was or is, nor do I know what, or who, the goon squad is or was.

It doesn’t matter. What a ride.

This is one of the very best books I’ve ever read that I never understood. I’m not really sure where it was going or if it ever got there but I really fucking loved this book.

Loosely told from the disparate views of the people involved, it’s basically the story of a strangely gifted musician who flashes early and then fades from view and then suddenly, at the end, bursts back into view in a scene so well written that you’ll be reliving that one concert, that one event, that one song, that changed your life, the one that you’ll never forget.

a visit from the goon squad is oddly told. It’s one of the strangest novels I’ve ever read. With the narrative constantly changing viewpoint and story timeline it’s a little like Google Earth-ing the intertwined lives of the characters as they move through the story. Click here and Sasha is pulled into focus talking about her petty theft problem. Click there and Benny is telling a story about Scotty. Click that place, and Dolly (who used to be Le Doll) is discussing her downfall and her need to raise her strange little daughter differently.

At times you feel lost.

But then, the author, Jennifer Egan, takes the whole wriggling open-ended, kinda-confusing, beautifully written mish mash, and artfully knits it together- forging understanding, in a chapter that can only be called golden. Or maybe insanely interpretive. Or maybe whatever. Trust me, if you ever read the book you’ll know which chapter I’m talking about as soon as you get to it and through it.

Chillingly, refreshingly, wonderful I’m still not sure what it was I read. Think of the sharpness of glacial springs. Think of the breathtaking clarity of tropical waters. Think of a freshness beyond fresh.

That’s a visit from the goon squad. And that’s Jennifer Egan and that’s why I want to have her baby.

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