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A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)

de Jennifer Egan

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Goon Squad (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
8,075486933 (3.68)651
Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs confront their pasts in this powerful story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.… (més)
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(Mira totes les recomanacions 21)

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» Mira també 651 mencions

Anglès (467)  Neerlandès (7)  Suec (2)  Finès (2)  Danès (1)  Alemany (1)  Francès (1)  Noruec (1)  Castellà (1)  Italià (1)  Portuguès (Portugal) (1)  Turc (1)  Totes les llengües (486)
Es mostren 1-5 de 486 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I liked this book, but it's a difficult one to recommend. That's partly because the structure is so unique: the chapters are almost individual stories, set in different time periods, but woven together by the appearance of many of the the same characters in each. Also, these chapters use different voices: first, second, and third person.

On the surface, the book is about a specific generation of people, all of whom are involved in the popular music business in various ways. These people come and go, as children, young adults, and older adults. But the real subject is time. Time is, in fact, the "goon squad," although that's never explicitly stated.

I found it funny, touching, and engaging. ( )
  meredk | Jan 27, 2023 |
A wonderful kaleidoscope of characters intersecting each others lives, from shifting times and viewpoints. As much a collection of short stories as a novel, it still had a few stunning reveals and fun "oh him!?" moments. ( )
  jscape2000 | Jan 23, 2023 |
I became a teenager about ten years after news of a Black Flag show could put the LAPD's riot squad on standby, but eighties-era hardcore -- that ruthlessly minimalist, explosively aggressive variant of punk rock -- rotted my brain straight through anyway. Imagine my surprise, then, when I figured out that that scene -- or rather some its San Francisco-based precursors -- had become the subject of a Real Book that had gone off and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The genre's come a long way since "Ack Ack Ack."

It also sort of surprised me that "A Visit from the Goon Squad" was, at least in part, about selling out. As a teenage music obsessive, the question of who was and who wasn't going to sign with a major took up altogether too much of my time. I eventually grew up, as all teenage music obsessives do, and I moved on from the issue. The world itself seemed to have moved on, too -- the guy from Of Montreal even changed one of his song's lyrics at Outback Steakhouse's request and claimed that the entire concept of "selling out" had lost its meaning. But it takes on new life here. "A Visit from the Goon Squad" isn't to be confused with an argument for punk or indie purity -- which may always have been an unattainable goal anyway. Still, many of Egan's characters find themselves no longer young or in real-deal middle age and have forgotten, or been made to forget, who they once were. While its tone is never regretful or brooding, much of Egan's concerns the manner of compromises we're forced to make as time goes by and how those past selves might be, if not exactly recovered, at least honored in some way. This is, in other words, a great book for anyone who ever wore out a copy of Fugazi's "13 Songs" album or woken up wondering how the heck they turned into the person they are.

Egan also devotes some time to her characters' search for that rarest of all things -- the real. This is, after all, a novel that touches on punk rock, which is a genre that fetishized authenticity, or at least its own conception of it. By the book's last chapter, punk rock is as distant a cultural memory for its younger characters as ragtime is for today's kids, and while the environment has, unsurprisingly, kept degrading at speed, the author also shows that the youngest generation has something to feel hopeful about. It was a pleasant surprise to come across this non-dystopian future, but it is very much of a piece with the novel's fluid, productive approach to narrative. "A Visit from the Goon Squad" could be called, I suppose, episodic, but then Egan's hardly the first writer to tell a non-linear story. We see a couple of punk girls eat a fancy restaurant, a record producer go on a safari in Africa, a disoriented young woman make her way through Europe. We meet these same characters in other contexts, when they are living other lives. The author sometimes pauses the narrative entirely to tell us exactly how a character we meet in passing ends up faring in life. In the manner of an old friend we haven't seen in ages, she tells us how things turned out for everyone. But the book's episodes don't always connect in a strictly narrative sense, and there are few events here that lock any character into any particular fate. While not everybody ends up finding what they're looking for, this lends "A Visit from the Goon Squad" a loose-limbed, generative aspect that I found profoundly satisfying. What Egan shows us feels meaningful, but real life happens, as it so often does, somewhere in the background, while we're not really watching. From a literary perspective, it's one thing to say that the world is a big and surprising place, but by relating these loosely connected, open-ended bits of narrative, Egan actually succeeds in showing that it is. This isn't a minor achievement. This airy, extended structure also has the unexpected side benefit of allowing its protagonists the time and space they need to genuinely work on themselves. In some particularly heartening cases, we see time and effort turn chaos into stability and anger into purpose. To paraphrase Freud, these characters' journeys are proof that work and love can still work wonders. Not everybody needs to listen to Flipper -- who also, shockingly enough, get mentioned here -- but maybe this is the sort of story that everybody needs to hear, in some form or another. Recommended whether you ever gave yourself a Germs burn or not. ( )
1 vota TheAmpersand | Jan 23, 2023 |
A cacophony of voices
A mix of unevenly hinged stories, tenses, people iterated and reiterated overtime, generations revisiting themselves former and later. Minor characters observing major ones. Jigsaw pieces in uneven chapters of uneven length in different tenses. Narrated in first and second persons of all ages from babies to dying men, across counties, time and developmental stages.

It most likely is brilliant in the written word, but I fear much is lost in the audio edition. Though chapters are read by different narrators, dialogue must by necessity still be performed by opposite sexes in conversations.

I “read” the book over several days with some lengthy interruptions, so it was hard to piece together the pieces, which I suspect is part of the enjoyment in the written text.

The only constants were New York City (though even this appears as text-speak for “nice”) and the music industry. And you can’t get much more unstable than these two giants.. ( )
  kjuliff | Jan 21, 2023 |
Not my flavor. Or not what I want right now.
  KittyCunningham | Jan 20, 2023 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 486 (següent | mostra-les totes)
It is neither a novel nor a collection of short stories, but something in between: a series of chapters featuring interlocking characters at different points in their lives, whose individual voices combine to a create a symphonic work that uses its interconnected form to explore ideas about human interconnectedness. This is a difficult book to summarise, but a delight to read, gradually distilling a medley out of its polyphonic, sometimes deliberately cacophonous voices.
 
Readers will be pleased to discover that the star-crossed marriage of lucid prose and expertly deployed postmodern switcheroos that helped shoot Egan to the top of the genre-bending new school is alive in well in this graceful yet wild novel. We begin in contemporaryish New York with kleptomaniac Sasha and her boss, rising music producer Bennie Salazar, before flashing back, with Bennie, to the glory days of Bay Area punk rock, and eventually forward, with Sasha, to a settled life. By then, Egan has accrued tertiary characters, like Scotty Hausmann, Bennie's one-time bandmate who all but dropped out of society, and Alex, who goes on a date with Sasha and later witnesses the future of the music industry. Egan's overarching concerns are about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, and lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn. Or as one character asks, How did I go from being a rock star to being a fat fuck no one cares about? Egan answers the question elegantly, though not straight on, as this powerful novel chronicles how and why we change, even as the song stays the same.
afegit per sduff222 | editaPublishers Weekly (Jan 31, 2011)
 
Jennifer Egan’s new novel is a moving humanistic saga, an enormous nineteenth-century-style epic brilliantly disguised as ironic postmodern pastiche. It has thirteen chapters, each an accomplished short story in its own right; characters who meander in and out of these chapters, brushing up against one another’s lives in unexpected ways; a time frame that runs from 1979 to the near, but still sci-fi, future; jolting shifts in time and points of view—first person, second person, third person, Powerpoint person; and a social background of careless and brutal sex, careless and brutal drugs, and carefully brutal punk rock. All of this might be expected to depict the broken, alienated angst of modern life as viewed through the postmodern lens of broken, alienated irony. Instead, Egan gives us a great, gasping, sighing, breathing whole.
 
Although shredded with loss, “A Visit From the Goon Squad” is often darkly, rippingly funny. Egan possesses a satirist’s eye and a romance novelist’s heart.
afegit per zhejw | editaNew York Times, Will Blythe (Jul 8, 2010)
 
If Jennifer Egan is our reward for living through the self-conscious gimmicks and ironic claptrap of postmodernism, then it was all worthwhile. Her new novel, "A Visit From the Goon Squad," is a medley of voices -- in first, second and third person -- scrambled through time and across the globe with a 70-page PowerPoint presentation reproduced toward the end.

I know that sounds like the headache-inducing, aren't-I-brilliant tedium that sends readers running to nonfiction, but Egan uses all these stylistic and formal shenanigans to produce a deeply humane story about growing up and growing old in a culture corroded by technology and marketing. And what's best, every movement of this symphony of boomer life plays out through the modern music scene, a white-knuckle trajectory of cool, from punk to junk to whatever might lie beyond. My only complaint is that "A Visit From the Goon Squad" doesn't come with a CD.
afegit per zhejw | editaWashington Post, Ron Charles (Jun 16, 2010)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (13 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Egan, Jenniferautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de Wilde, BarbaraDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Heuvelmans, TonTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Karjalainen, HeikkiTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ortega, RoxanaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Velina, MihaelaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zeltmann, HeideÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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'Poets claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years.'

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"Time's a goon, right? Isn't that the expression?"
“I'm always happy," Sasha said. "Sometimes I just forget.”
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Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs confront their pasts in this powerful story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.

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