Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding new work circles Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, but the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other people whose paths intersect with theirs in the San Francisco 1970s music scene, the demimonde of Naples, New York at many points along the way from the pre-Internet nineties to a postwar future, and on a catastrophic safari into the heart of Africa. We meet Lou, Bennie’s charismatic, careless mentor; Scotty, the young musician who slipped off the grid; the uncle facing a failed marriage who goes in search of seventeen-year-old Sasha when she disappears into Italy; and the therapist on whose couch she dissects darker compulsions. A Visit from the Goon Squad is a book about time, survival, and the electrifying sparks ignited at the seams of our lives by colliding destinies. Sly, surprising, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers.

My review: 1 look
This book won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction?! This is what the Pulitzer Prize Board said: "inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed." Allow me to translate this for you: rockers getting old, hating it and fighting it every step of the way.

HBO is making a series out of it?! Well, they made a movie out of one of my most-hated books, White Oleander, so I can't say this surprises me. This book could read like a bunch of related short stories, so a series is probably not a bad idea. Especially when you consider the garbage on television now.

My take on this book is that it's sophomoric, pandering and whiney. Think "Housewives of New Jersey" with record contracts. You may want to read this one because of the hype, but I wouldn't recommend it unless every other book at the library is gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment