Book Review 6 – A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

This is a bit of a late review, seeing as I actually read this book in early August, but better late than never 🙂

Although I’ve said mostly positive things about the other books that I’ve reviewed, this book was not my favorite. I had high hopes and expectations for it that mostly got let down (with a few exceptions).

A Visit From the Goon Squad focuses on the lives of Bennie Salzar, and aging former punk rocker and his record label business, and Sasha, his young assistant. The two are different from each other in multiple respects and I did enjoy how Egan alternated between their perspectives. The reader got to know both character’s backstories, even though the Sasha and Bennie never truly got to know each other’s backstories.

The one aspect of the book that is causing me to give it a slightly negative review (with a positive flair, of course, see above) is that the characters confused me. I’m not going to get into all the details, but the characters that surrounded the lives of Sasha and Bennie were unclear, as their relationship to the two main characters was unclear. Instead of narrating the story from Sasha’s and Bennie’s perspectives throughout the entire novel, Egan chose to narrate it through other characters who encountered Sasha and Bennie — which would have been fine, but since I had no idea who they were, this just made the novel more confusing to read.

I did enjoy the chapter written entirely in powerpoint format – it was a refreshing change.

All in all, this book was alright, not terrible, but it did have its flaws in respect to characters and plot.



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