I recently finished Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll recall that Egan has been mentioned once on this blog already. In the wake of her win, she crapped on a couple of well-known “chick lit” authors, berating them for doing a disservice to literature penned by women. It was a little harsh.
Well, I went and read her book, and though I may not agree with her take on the lady literary landscape, daaaaaamn can that woman write. Her novel is a series of cartwheeling, somersaulting stories that cross paths and link up in more ways than you can count. It’s a chessboard of a book, but the payoff is well worth the intricate mind games required to keep up. As for my favorite chapter, it’s a toss-up between the chapter told in Powerpoint slides and the chapter about a PR spin doctor assigned to change the image of a dictator.
This is a book that will make you do crazy things. I drew out a map of all the characters and their connections, for example:
See? Crazy shit.
[UPDATE: I sent this diagram to Jennifer Egan on a whim. If I were an author, I would love to see anything creative that readers did in response to my work. She wrote back a SUPER sweet note,
Related Post: A nifty captialistic way that new generations will learn to love Roald Dahl.
Related Post: Things to do with books besides read them….