Review for A Visit from the Goon Squad

Posted by on Nov 17, 2011 in Book Reviews | 0 comments

A Visit from the Goon SquadA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this for a Seminar in Fiction class. Unlike some of the other books I’ve read for this class, this one I’ve enjoyed.

I’m conflicted about what rating to give this book, however. For me, the ending was not satisfying. I won’t go into details, because I hate to spoiler, but that hurt an otherwise really great story, for me anyway.

This is a novel made of short stories, which is an interesting concept. At first I was a little put off by the changing writing style and point of view, but I quickly became accustomed to it. I think the writer was trying to make sure each story had its own voice, because it came from a different character, and honestly I can’t think of any other way it could have worked. It did hang together well and really made sense once you got into it.

I loved some of the characters, and wasn’t too fond of some of the others, as was probably the intention. Perhaps what I liked most about this book was that it dealt with deep themes without making a show of it. There’s a chapter near the end, done entirely as a powerpoint presentation ‘journal,’ that the reader might feel inclined to skip over it, but I’ll warn you that you shouldn’t or you’ll miss out.

Would I have read it on my own? Probably not. Am I glad I read it? Yes. If I had half stars to give I think it’d be 3.5, but it just can’t get that extra half from me to bump it up to 4 because of the ending.

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