Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Jennifer Egan, A Visit From The Goon Squad (2010)

A Powerpoint from the Goon Squad

8 comments:

Adam Roberts said...

Shut up, Eccles.

Matt said...

Noah Hawley's thriller "A Conspiracy of Tall Men" used the "drop in a brief narrative aside about a bit character, flashing way into his or her past or forward into his or her future" effect quite well. In the context of a strongly plot-driven novel, I quite enjoyed it.

Interesting to see it used elsewhere as well. I'm not certain this technique has a classical pedigree; the only other example that springs to mind is the film Amelie.

Peter Hollo said...

Bravissimo. Lovely review. I have it on my desk awaiting reading shortly. I think it will overtake the Other Egan's new novel in the list, although I'm certainly keen to read it too (and I don't believe your review of his previous work was the "hatchet job" he took it for...)

Abigail Nussbaum said...

Very cool review - almost unseats your Anathem review in my affections.

As you probably saw in my post, I took the slightly unbelievable abruptness with which our world changes into Egan's future world as yet another instance of a mainstream writers failing to get a grip on writing the future. It's interesting to think that it might, instead, have been another way in which the book is very, very clever about achieving its affect.

That said, as much as I liked the book I can't get behind the conventional wisdom (as seen in the Pulitzer quote you bring) that it's a novel specifically about our technological present (and future). Deliberately or not, these strike me as the weakest aspects of the novel.

Ruzzock said...

Anhedonic, eh.

I will formally adopt this word. I am ashamed that I have lived this long without meeting it. And it isn't even cromulent.

Essayy said...

Thesis Writing
Great post and some really useful tips there. I love resource lists like this. Have social bookmarked it in the hope that others can also benefit.

Adam Roberts said...

Matt: "I'm not certain this technique has a classical pedigree..."

Virginia Woolf doesn't count as classical?

Thanks, Peter, Abigail, Ruzzock.

Essayy: Whazzup?

Mike Taylor said...

Hmmm, I don't know, though. It sounds like awfully hard work to me. Do all these tricks really add anything, are are they just admired for being clever? (I've not read it myself, so I don't know; I am just skeptical.)