A Visit from the Goon Squad entails chapters which are told from the perspective of a variety of different characters. Each chapter could almost stand alone as a short story, however all of the characters intersect or are intertwined throughout. The connections between characters can be clear from the outset, or casually slipped in, but all comes full circle by the end of the book.
The novel spans continents and decades, not sequentially, but intricately linked. It focuses on the excesses of youth, the realities of adulthood, reflections of life and friendships, and the highs and lows throughout.
I found the book easy to read but still meaningful. I loved the music and pop culture references scattered throughout, along with her depiction of cities such as New York, San Francisco and Naples.
This novel won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the LA Times Book Prize.
“A Visit from the Goon Squad vividly captures the moments where lives interact, and where fortunes ebb and flow. Egan depicts with elegant prose and often heart-wrenching simplicity, the sad consequences for those who couldn’t fake it during their wild youth – madness, suicide or prison – in this captivating, wryly humorous story of temptation and loss.”