Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

As I said when talking initially about this book it ticked all the boxes for me and then I put it down for a few days as I just needed something else. Those something else's have already been reviewed on here, so on to this absolutely amazing book that I picked up again this morning and had finished reading by 8.30.
The two main characters are Bennie Salazar and Sasha, a young rather troubled young lady who works for him and herein the adventure begins as you go back and forth in time, meet new characters all linked to Bennie (a once very powerful record exec) and Sasha in ever concentric circles that ripple out drawing you (the reader) into such a wide array of experiences that a lesser writer may well have lost you by page 50, this does not happen here and as our journey progress we learn a lot about the very real human need to fit in, to achieve, to succeed, to love, to screw up, to find redemption among the ruins of self destruction. The narrative hums along at a well drawn pace, it has humour and it has pathos, it is really hard to think of anything relating to the human state that Jennifer Egan hasn't included. At no time does it become boring, its never gluggy, the writer uses a lot of very snappy words and even in the most trying circumstance it does not loose its humanity.
I particularly liked the way she went back in forth in time, this brought a wonderful richness to the narrative, filled out the characters and wasn't at all distracting yet I have read other books where this has been done to my utter despair. There are parts of this books story telling form that are rather unique but you`ll have to read it to find out what I mean!

This is the 1st book I have finished in 2011, if this is any indicator a great reading year is ahead!

No comments: