The excellent critical reception for the UK publication of A Visit from the Goon Squad continues, with write-ups in The London Review of Books, Mail Online, Independent and feature for Radio 3’s Nightwaves.
Pankaj Mishra, writing for the LRB, was impressed by how the novel deals with endings; the ending of youth, of a generation, and, perhaps, of a distinctive age of American imperialism:
“Egan commemorates not only the fading of a cultural glory but also of the economic and political supremacy that underpinned it. The sense of an ending has always appeared to spur Egan’s inventiveness. An almost mystical conviction of individual and collective failure pervades A Visit from the Goon Squad; the fragmentary nature of its narrative seems to enact the rhythms of dissolution, the slow-burning confusion of a people who long ago ‘stopped being themselves without realising it’. And yet there is energy, even exuberance, in its despair.”
Jane Shilling, writing in the Daily Mail, sensed the grand scope and ambition of the novel, the “strong sense of a writer reaching deliberately for literary greatness,” in her round-up of the Paperback releases of the week.
Tom Sutcliffe praised the stylistic inventiveness, particularly of the ‘Great Rock and Roll Pauses’ chapter of the book in his review for The Independent:
“These not only work surprisingly well as a vehicle for character depiction (the notional narrator is a chippy teenage girl), but also introduce a great nerd’s list: her brother Lincoln’s compilation of the greatest pauses in rock history. I’m hopeless at this kind of thing, but I was instantly reminded of a much-loved moment in Elvis Costello’s song “Impatience” (3′.37″ in), when he pulls the tempo to a near stop before releasing it back to full speed with a delirious slither of strings.”
BBC 3’s Nightwaves features Jenny talking about A Visit from the Goon Squad with Rana Matta, alongside fellow Constable & Robinson author Danny Dorling, 5 minutes and 23 minutes in, respectively.
A Visit from the Goon Squad – Special Edition is now available as a full and ‘Lite’ app in the App Store, available exclusively for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.