Customer Review

65 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic and touching., 10 Jan. 2011
This review is from: A Visit from the Goon Squad (Hardcover)
A Visit from the Goon Squad is not the kind of novel I would usually have picked up, and as the title gave nothing away, I was unsure what to expect.

However, Egan's story turned out to be my favourite read of 2010, and one i have recommended to all my friends with enthusiasm. It's unlike anything i have read before - filled with individuality and surprises but remaining compelling and readable. Considering the variety of characters and situations, Goon Squad could have seemed disparate but Egan avoided this and made each chapter individually memorable and also fully functioning within the whole.

The plot revolves around several key characters - primarily Bennie and Sasha - and the people around them: friends, lovers, relatives and colleagues. It spans several decades and is constantly engaged with the music of each period. A previous commenter suggested that this was unconvincing, but to me the references seemed wholly authentic and uncontrived. Egan clealry has a passion fo rmusic which she backed up with research.

The final chapters - set in a fast approaching future - were the ones which have really stuck in my mind, as they suggest a time when technology overtakes real life, but raw music can still affect people. Similarly, the way Egan depicted an autistic boy's methods of communicating with his family were both dynamic and touching (but I won't give away the surprise of how he does it!)

I loved this novel, and look forward to reading more by the author!
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