Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"A Visit From the Goon Squad"

As we all know, I think the world of my kindle.  However, when other people use kindles I cannot look to see what they are reading and that drives me nuts!  I love to get new book ideas from seeing what others are reading on the T or on plane rides.  Lucky for me, though, there were a few people on the plane to Greece that had some hard cover books.  One of the books I saw and then heard so much about was A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

cover picture from Amazon.com
To be honest, I finally downloaded the book because I had seen those people reading it, but also because I started to see it on a number of best seller lists and figured it would be good.  While I do not think I am very picky about books, maybe I am (I hated Franzen's Freedom), but I really did not like this book.  

A Visit From the Goon Squad is a series of semi interconnected stories following different characters somehow involved in the music industry.  I did not see the stories working together very well.  Further, some of the stories and the voices I really enjoyed, however, those chapters often finished too quickly and moved onto another voice that may not have been as engaging.  I felt like some of the characters were just left hanging and their lives changed but the reader had no idea how or why.  

After reading some books that I reacted so strongly to, I think I like books that tell complete stories.  I like character development and seeing how things progress.  I need characters that are redeemable in a way that I believe it.  Watching characters fail without much hope of seeing how they get built back up doesn't do it for me. 

Obviously this book has been loved by many readers, I just do not happen to be one of them - not enough of a story for me.


  1. One of my friends actually just lent me his copy of this but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet... Oh and I just got the Kindle Fire! Love it too!

  2. Although the book, itself, was thought provoking and cleverly structured, I would warn anyone who elects to read the book digitally that the "powerpoint" chapters are extremely difficult to read on the Kindle. The print is so small and the back grounds so dark that even a magnifying glass was little help. The font size selection feature on the Kindle did not work on the "slides" for those chapters.

    Informative URL for Leviton


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