A visit from people you’d rather not spend any time with

Book cover for A Visit From The Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A Visit from the Goon Squad is a series of connected stories centered around a record company executive and his assistant. It won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and is something of a work of writing bravado, shifting between characters and jumping back and forth in time. Jennifer Egan has a sure hand, and I particularly appreciated the moments she jumped far forward in time to tell you what happens to people in the future.

I found little else to like in this book, though, and wound up skimming and skipping ahead when I was a bit more than halfway through. I just didn’t care what happened to any of the characters, and didn’t feel there were really any insights into human nature other than that self-destructive people tend to, well, destruct. Time goes on and beats you up as you age. Okay, I get it.

I know some people love this kind of thing, but stories that are mostly about people who feel sorry for themselves just don’t hold my attention. I would try another book by Egan because she does create vivid characters and write well, but I just didn’t want to spend any more time with these people.