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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.
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on 14 December 2017
Wanting to reignite my love for reading and tick off some of the books on my neverending wishlist, “A Visit From The Goon Squad” was the perfect reentry. A powerful and clever way of depicting humanity through the six degrees of separation theory. Left me absolutely ravenous for more!
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on 13 May 2017
Compelling funny clever engaging page turning novel easy read full of characters that link the story line in a web of delight and wonder.
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on 12 July 2017
Intelligent, accessible, contemporary - fast paced rollicking tales of the other lives we've all lived, unknown to our closest friends, family, lovers - the layers of inter-connection, near misses and surprising hits. Egan writes confidently with truly delightful, spot-on descriptors, fresh metaphors and cultural insight. It's an easy read, and one to read again, perhaps more slowly, in the future. Will deffo pass on to my brighter mates.
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on 4 December 2017
This book was recommended to me by a friend with great taste in books - it wasn't until I'd completely finished and digested it that I appreciated what they'd seen in it. My advice is to stick with it, if you can then you're rewarded with a complete story that spans decades and weaves though the lives of complex characters. What's really missing from this book is a decent blurb, or maybe I should have better read the description before buying (or checked out the very detailed wikipedia entry!).
For a good part of the book I read with no idea what the story was, not because it wasn't well written and engaging, but because characters appeared and disappeared throughout each bringing with them their own goals and storylines. As the book progresses you get fully fleshed out backstories for a few of the characters, but always from different perspectives. I would have easily read another few hundred pages about La Doll, or Jules.
It's certainly innovative, and I think that on the whole it works as a novel - but I could have done without the 80 page PowerPoint presentation, which covers the eventual settling of the Sasha from the very first chapter.
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on 27 November 2017
I listened to a quarter of the audiobook version and I recommend you don’t waste your time. Roxana’s voice is monotonous and she sounds bored throughout. Someone else said it’s like Siri reading but I have to disagree - Siri is more expressive. I can’t believe that no one during the production process didn’t take Roxana aside and let her listen to her ‘work’ - it’s hard to listen to.
As a result the story seemed utterly boring, too, and to be fair it made it hard to care about the characters. Not much happens and nothing matters, seems to be the common thread. How this won the Pulitzer Prize I don’t understand.
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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.
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on 22 October 2017
This is a review of the Audible audio-book, not the text as such.

The Audible recording is barely listenable to, as Roxana Ortega reads it in a flat monotone that sounds as if Siri is reading.
She puts pretty much the same stress on all the words, and has a very weird micro-pause after "the", which makes her sound bizarrely robotic.

I hear the book is great, but there's only so much robo-narration one can tolerate. What a pity!
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on 17 October 2015
Nothing wrong with the service, but the book was the worst I've tried to read. Couldn't finish it.
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on 23 April 2012
Started off really enjoying it but in the end felt a bit disappointed. Like most modern novels if just does not end satisfyingly. Also, like David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, I kept on expecting the diverse parts to cohere but they did not. In the end I wonder - as I do about the film Pulp Fiction - what is gained by distorting the narrative flow. In many ways it's a collection of interlinked short stories rather than a novel. I understand there's an app where the chapters can be shuffled or put into a chronological order: I can't help feeling that if the chapters can be rearranged arbitrarily then there is something missing from the novel as a coherent work of art. It did begin terrifically and kept me turning the pages but the only positive from the chapter written in the style of a celebrity interview was to remind me not to read badly written celebrity interviews. I also found the chapter written in the style of a powerpoint presentation irritating, at least initially, though in that case found that there was some reward for perseverance.
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