Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Review: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This novel is a mixed bag for me ... in some ways it was more of a 2 but in others it was more of a 4. So, I split the difference and am giving it a 3!
All in all, I found this to be a very readable novel. I was never bored. I never struggled with any aspect of reading it. I found the creative use of format throughout the novel to be interesting and kept me reading, curious to see what might come my way next. I really enjoyed the unorthodox-ness of the entire book - the format, the characters, the movement of the narrative, and even the prose itself! All of that deserves a strong 4!
Now for what I didn't find quite so interesting ... I found the unusual format of narrative to be confusing and sometimes difficult to follow. I worked it out but it wasn't always easy! And sometimes I felt that the work to keep it straight wasn't ultimately worth it. The characters were not compelling to me. It was difficult for me to care much about quite a few of them. I don't usually mind unlikeable characters but given the difficulty following the narrative, the character payoff just wasn't great for me.
All in all, an interesting read! I'm glad I read it but I'm not sure that I agree with all the raves that I'm seeing in reviews. I found that it was interesting enough to keep me reading but it fell flat in the end. It just wasn't as successful as it could have been.
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