As promised we'll be reading a book written before 1930 this week. In fact this book was written in 2010.
So why are we reading it? Because it checks in at an easily readable 288 pages, there are about a zillion copes available at the CPL and Cuyahoga County Libraries. And most Importantly it is suppose to be good. And it plays with the structure of the novel, and possibly really isn't a novel in the traditional sense.
A Visit From the Goon Squad (2010) is a work of fiction by American author Jennifer Egan. It won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Most of the stories in A Visit from the Goon Squad concern Bennie Salazar, an aging rock music executive, his one-time assistant, Sasha, and their various friends and associates. The book follows a large cast of mostly self-destructive characters as they grow older and fate sends them in directions they did not intend to go. The stories shift back and forth in time, moving from the late sixties to the present day and into the near future. Many of the stories take place in or around New York City, although some are set in California, Italy and Africa.
Because of its unusual narrative structure, some critics have characterized the book as a novel, while others have described it as a collection of linked short stories. A Visit From the Goon Squad is composed of 13 chapters, most of which can be read as individual stories, and it does not focus on any single central character or narrative arc. In addition, many of the chapters in the book were originally published individually as short stories in magazines such as The New Yorker and Harper's. However, all of the stories share a set of common characters and repeating themes. In an interview with Salon.com's Laura Miller, Egan stated that she leaned towards describing the book as a novel rather than a short story collection. We shall see.