In “A Visit To The Goon Squad” Jennifer Egan, over the space of thirteen chapters, gives us thirteen different viewpoints with sometimes only most tenuous of links between characters to achieve a darkly funny, often traumatic and wholly rewarding novel.
Each chapter plays out independent of each other with telling stories of a kleptomaniac, a record label boss, a struggling PR woman forced to work for despotic leader, a convicted criminal writing an article about his crimes from jail, all intertwining and leaving us with the questions what are the scars or marks we leave on each other? How do we cope with our past as time devours us?
Egan has written a novel without a streamlined plot, it’s jumps time period, perspective and style from chapter to chapter. These style changes are what make this novel so powerful. The most brutal being the penultimate chapter written wholly in from the perspective of a young girl written entirely in a PowerPoint presentation.
Very few books in my life have ever made me want to turn back to the first page and read again straight away. Instantly I wanted to see what I missed. Sad, satirical, hilarious. Take the time if you already haven’t.
Will Drummond (Brunsiwck Chapter)