The Alibi Book Club #12

2.2.16


-- This is one serious page turner --

I don't know if you remember last month, but I did a huge book haul here for 2016 and I really wanted to write the next review on this. A Visit From The Good Squad. I think in all, it took me about four days to plough through the novel and I think reading it at 18, rather than 13 or however old I was made it more enjoyable. Being on the brink of adulthood in terms of age, I felt like I could read this book easily and it's just epic.

Each chapter that Egan writes is a seperate story about a person who is linked to either Sasha or Bennie, the two central characters in the novel. Though the author describes it as neither a collection of stories or a novel, I feel like it is still generally a novel. And one you can easily lose yourself in to.

"Jennifer Egan's spellbinding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an ageing former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other's pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa. We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist's couch in New York City, confronting her long-standing compulsion to steal. Later, we learn the genesis of her turmoil when we see her as the child of a violent marriage, then a runaway living in Naples, then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend. We meet Bennie Salazar at the melancholy nadir of his adult life-divorced, struggling to connect with his nine-year-old son, listening to a washed up band in the basement of a suburban house-and then revisit him in 1979, at the height of his youth, shy and tender, revelling in San Francisco's punk scene as he discovers his ardour for rock and roll and his gift for spotting talent. We learn what became of his high school gang-who thrived and who faltered-and we encounter Lou Kline, Bennie's catastrophically careless mentor, along with the lovers and children left behind in the wake of Lou's far flung sexual conquests and meteoric rise and fall. A Visit from the Goon Squad is a book about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the stirrings and transformations set inexorably in motion by even the most passing conjunction of our fates. In a breathtaking array of styles and tones ranging from tragedy to satire to Powerpoint, Egan captures the undertow of self-destruction that we all must either master or succumb to; the basic human hunger for redemption; and the universal tendency to reach for both-and escape the merciless progress of time-in the transporting realms of art and music."

I honestly think this is one of my favourite books, and I've already bought another by Egan. Oops.

What books are you enjoying right now?

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2 comments

  1. This sounds amazing. I love nothing more than curling up with a good book in the evening so this is definitely going on my 'to read' list! I'd love it if you'd comment back http://www.amyelizabethfashion.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/health-vs-aesthetics.html xx

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    1. When you do get round to reading it, let me know what you thought of it xx

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Thank you guys for all your lovely, I love to read and reply to them all! :) xx

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