A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan
WINNER of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2011
WINNER of the NBCC Award for Fiction 2011
From Africa to Naples, New York to San Francisco, record producers to genocidal generals, Jennifer Egan tears through the lives of her characters with verve and guile: Lou, a coke-snorting, teenage-girl-seducing music producer in the 1970s; his prodigy, Bennie, a music producer himself, who hires a young woman, Sasha, who has a problem with kleptomania; she has a one night stand with Alex, who in the not-too-distant future is hired by Bennie to engineer the comeback of Bennie’s high school friend, Scott, who went off the radar but turns up one day in Bennie’s office with a fish he’d caught in the East River, where Sasha’s college boyfriend, Rob, had once gone for an early morning swim with tragic consequences; Bennie’s wife works for a publicist named La Doll whose daughter, Lulu, will end up working with Alex; Bennie’s wife’s brother is a journalist who attempts to rape of an actress named Kitty Jackson who in her declining years is later hired by Dolly to enable the public rehabilitation of a Latin American dictator.
A Visit from the Goon Squad captures the moments where lives interact as these characters’ fortunes ebb and flow; sometimes they are popular and affluent, other times down and out. Egan depicts, with elegant prose and often heart-wrenching simplicity, the sad consequences for those who couldn’t fake it during their wild youth – madness, suicide or prison – in this captivating, wryly humorous story of temptation and loss.
A Visit from the Goon Squad is available from all good booksellers and also as a special edition app for iPad & iPhone.