Just read, A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

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Oh what joy to be let loose on fiction! All this year I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction, history mostly for the course I’ve been doing. While some of the books I’ve read have been very good, I feel like I’ve been on a long diet, one of those that excludes carbs or wheat and dairy. I finished all the course work two weeks ago and have basically devoured 4 books since. Clearly my brain has been starved. I do not like diets. Jennifer Egan’s book was on my radar, somewhere on the periphery. I’d seen (scanned) a review or two and made a mental note to have a look at it. I make many such mental notes, which have, over the years resulted in a big ‘pile of shame’ of books that I dip in and out of, thinking that one day, it will be gone through. Only this is a deception, every time I make a dent in the pile, I order more books. Birthdays and Christmases come along and people know I read so I get more books. Jennifer Egan’s book was one such gift, from Daunt Books’ paperback fiction subscription, which is also one of the best gifts ever (have written about it here). I wasn’t too sure about the book’s beginning, it was fine but didn’t quite grab me in the way that some books grab you from the first page. Little did I know, by the end, I thought A Visit from the Goon Squad brilliant. It’s the structure, the seemingly separate characters and stories that together form a part of a thematic narrative about youth, dreams, passions and realities of life, experiences, memories and how our paths often end up somewhere completely unintended, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a clever book, one that’s made me think about all sorts of things and will stay with me. Laughed with it, got a bit sad with it and totally loved it.

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