Monday, July 25, 2011

Review of Jennifer Eagen’s “A visit from the Goon Squad”

I didn't like it. There is something about the last few Pulitzer winners that I haven't liked. I read the books and think, "how the hell did this ever get published?" Such is the case of A visit from the Goon Squad where we learn the story of an aging pop music promoter and his entourage but each chapter takes place somewhere different in time. We bounce forward, backward but when the disjointed chapters are brought together there is isn't much of a story.

The only book I can compare it with stylistically is Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. The book is written almost as a stream of consciousness with independent scenes that do nothing for the story. Faulkner at least started in the present and flashed back. Egan starts somewhere near the present and flashes back to high school and forward to some science fiction future where everyone talks like a text message and eschews tattoos.

While here isn't much of a story as conventional novels go I will admit to enjoying the almost flawless narrative. This is a literary novel. I would love to know the chain of events that lead to its being published.