Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now

Customer reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
187
3.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 4 January 2012
This review is written with the assumption that anybody reading it will have read other reviews and criticisms of the novel, so it makes no attempt to describe the contents. It does refer specifically to the KINDLE edition.

Having recently become an enthusiastic 'convert' to Kindle, this is the first novel I have read in this form where I wished I had bought it in book format.
The novel itself is wonderful, every bit as inventive, as insightful and witty as the plaudits all claim - and Jennifer Egan has a wonderful turn of phrase. She is a writer for whom language and the form of the novel are important. I approached the novel with a degree of caution, fearing cleverness for its own sake, but the shifts of perspective and chronology are not only easy to follow, but fascinating and enriching in their own right.

Had I read the novel in paperback, I would certainly have given 5 stars. The 3 stars (above) refer to specifically to the KINDLE edition. One chapter late on in the novel takes the form of the print out of a Power Point presentation. This makes complete sense when you read it, and is a rich way of dealing with material (no spoilers!), but on a Kindle it becomes virtually illegible. Changing the font size enlarges standard text, but not images. Amazon should provide a warning about this to anybody purchasing it on Kindle.

But I enjoyed the novel itself so much that I think I shall purchase a paperback copy and re-read it in due course.
11 Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 May 2013
Very confusing books. Too much characters. At times very difficult to understand where the writer is moving or trying to explain.

But at times some paragraphs were very appealing also.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 November 2013
This is a set of interlocking short stories concerning an ever-increasing cast of characters, all linked in some way to one of the others. Egan is a writer of great clarity, so I never found the format confusing, although I did find it frustrating. I wanted to know much more about some characters but the action would move on to someone else. Although the structure is unconventional most of the stories are not. They are beautifully written, perfectly paced and, like the best short stories, show someone's whole life in a snapshot. Some of them were absolutely brilliant, but I think a writer of this quality should have been able to see that the whole book is rather less than the sum of its parts.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 November 2011
Before I even read this book I should of took into consideration what I normally hate in a book. The first, and foremost, thing that puts me off reading a book is a non-linear timeline, which is exactly what is in this book. Secondly, the characters are introduced in each chapter, yet we never see some of them again, and that kills me. I like to know everything about characters and I really hate when we meet someone interesting and they just disappear into thin air. Thirdly, the idea of the book itself, an aged rocker and his assistant, sounded utterly unappealing from the start, therefore I should not of even thought of reading this.

My point is that this was a book that was written well and had so much praise that I thought I would give it a go. Yes, I gave in to peer pressure. Wrong decision. I really hated it and struggled through it for months on end, coming back to it time and time again before finally giving up with only a few chapters to go. I don't even care how the book ends because from the first chapter I know how the stories of the characters end. I like to read a book where the end is, y'know.. at the end.

I can't fault it for being a 'bad' book but I truly, truly hated it.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 January 2016
Stuck with it till the end more or less despite loosing the will to live . Couldn't believe quite what a pretentious load of tosh it really was . Could anyone really give a monkeys about any of these people
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 September 2016
Terrible book. I stuck with it to the end, but when I finished it I launched it over the balcony. That was the best moment of reading this book ! There were some good characters that you would have liked more of. But as a whole the book reads like bit parts of what felt like other books mashed into one "novel" Not for me. Sorry.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 February 2012
It wasn't just the unsympathetic shallow characters, it wasn't the shifts in time, it was the writing style which bored me and didn't compel me to go on reading. Why this won a prize I'll never know. Some use of words as descriptions were full of imagination, but without anything substantial like good writing, it is not worth reading by those who love good books, unless perhaps you have a very short attention span. Sorry I had to give it even one star.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 June 2014
A Visit from the Goon Squad is a difficult book to review. I can see why it won the Pullitzer Prize for Fiction, but I can also see why it collects its fair share of one star reviews.

The book is almost a collection of short stories or scenes linked either directly or tenuously to the two main characters, Sasha and Bennie Salazar. It tells the story of various lives in the music industry, whether musicians, producers, publicists etc. The stories have a chronology to them creating, rather than a rondeau where circular stories end up back at the beginning, a spiral that shows the evolution of the key characters and the worlds they inhabit. It tries to show this through the use of different techniques – a seventy page powerpoint presentation and text language for example.

I enjoyed the character development, but found the book frustrating. The writing was in places quite poor, but in others imaginative and fresh.

Some books fall in to an avant garde category that either seizes you or not. In my case I grew to like the book, for all its quirkiness, but I can’t say it ever took fire.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 April 2012
This book is extremely over-hyped. I doubt I'll be able to remember any of it in a month. I read reviews that said how good it was, and, yes, it did start off with promise, the odd page made you want to carry on. But the characters weren't developed and it ended up a load of self-indulgent drivel, and you wondering what happened to certain characters. I kept reading thinking it would all be resolved, I so hope the loose ends don't mean there's a second book on the way. Towards the end there is a concert that becomes a success because one of the characters pays friends to publicise it, and I can only think that's what happened here. The author Jennifer Egan must know a lot of book reviewers, because I can't believe all the good reviews came from intelligent people with no links to her. I've just come back from a book club, there were 9 of us, and none of us enjoyed the book (although the odd excerpt has its moments). You read about one of the characters' lives, thinking it will come back to it, but no, in many cases not. And in one chapter in the first person, it 'goes': 'and then I go ... and then he goes ... and I go ... and he goes ...). So many things are left hanging in the air. And from page 242-316 there are all sorts of Powerpoint type snippets (on one page, it is totally blank, the next it says 'Okay, I know') which are superfluous tosh (fortuitously meaning you don't have as much to read as you thought you might have to plough through). This is the worst book we've had to endure in our book club in two years, and we're a really mixed bunch of people. Please, don't waste any of your life reading this. Life means much more than spending time on this.
11 Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 February 2012
This book is a deeply insightful and wonderfully written exploration and evocation of time. It artfully captures the myriad painful and joyful nuances of growing up, its tragedies and inevitablities. Structurally it treads the line between a collection of short stories (all of which would be a great read by themselves) and, by interconnecting a web of characters, a unified novel (in a way that's similar to Cloud Atlas, which I'd also highly recommend, except the short stories in that went across centuries, this jumps around betweene decades from the 70s to, I think, 15 years in the future.)

It's about us and the poignancy of old connections and fractured memories - maybe because I'm 53 the passing of time seems to me the most profound and strange thing we have to deal with. But that's maybe because the theme of time includes everything else.

Anyway - buy it - it's intelligent, amusing, enlightening, moving and a joy to read. I only wish it lasted longer.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse