There are novels written to tell a story. And there are novels written that get to the heart of being human.
This novel is most definitely the latter, without being pretentious or tedious. In fact, the most wonderful thing about Goon Squad is that it manages to take you deep into the heart of matter with a prose style that zings along.
Her writing style never lapses into cliche and it tells you things about life and memory (memory is a big theme) that you always knew but never put into words. And - this is something about her technical ability I can't get to the bottom of - she tells you these things without ever feeling you're in the midst of a 'clever' authorial aside a la Jonathan Franzen or British writers such as Martin Amis or Will Self.
In other words, she weaves in the most profound observations beautifully.
I think a lot of it is due to her skill in characterisation. You believe in her characters. Their voices take charge of the story and you never for a minute feel you're being lectured to by a writer.
A slightly haphazard, random review (the bath is running) but a truly beautiful book.
And, yes, be warned, it resembles much more a series of short stories than a novel. But don't let that put you off or you'll really miss out on something very special. :)