“A Visit from the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan

I was happy to re-read Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad when it came up as a Books and Bars pick. After I read a friend’s copy and loved it last year, I got my own copy, and didn’t have to wait long for an excuse to re-read it. I imagined I would slow down and savor this set of interrelated stories on a second read, paying close attention to try to fathom how Egan pulled off such a show. Instead, I blazed through it in about 48 hours. The prior reading made me aware of who was who; this anchoring allowed me to glide effortlessly through these linked stories without any shudder of reorientation at each new narrator and setting. I hadn’t noticed the stories were structured like an album, with an A and B section, which seems so obvious in retrospect. I really loved the characters, and the snapshots of their lives over time and into a near and not-so-pleasant possible future.

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