Jennifer Egan is the author of "The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, " and the story collection "Emerald City." Her stories have been published in "The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, " and "Ploughshares, " and her nonfiction appears frequently in "The New York Times Magazine."
Time changes both everything and nothing in this novel about former punk rocker-turned-music executive Bennie Salazar and Sasha, his indispensable secretary with an unhappy past. A host of characters from San Francisco's 1970s music scene collide in ways that are hard to summarize, with peripheral characters in one chapter more fully developed in others. These well-defined characters and the engaging narrative are hallmarks of Egan's earlier fiction, which include Look at Me, a National Book Award finalist, and the best-selling The Keep. Here, we learn that power is transient, authenticity is not all it's cracked up to be, and friendships are often fragile, but the connections among people matter terribly. Often, we survive the self-destructive tendencies of youth only to realize that we've just exchanged one set of problems for another. Verdict In the end, this novel does offer hope, but it is the grubby kind that keeps you going once you've been kicked to the curb. Readers will enjoy seeing the disparate elements of this novel come full circle. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/10.]-Gwen Vredevoogd, Marymount Univ., Arlington, VA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Pitch perfect...Darkly, rippingly funny...Egan possesses a satirist's eye and a romance novelist's heart.-- "New York Times Book Review"
[A] triumph of technical bravado and tender sympathy...Turn up the music, skip the college reunion and curl up with The Goon Squad instead.-- "Washington Post"
Egan has accomplished the tricky feat of using metafiction techniques without sacrificing old-fashioned story-telling...A Visit from the Goon Squad has a circuitous structure that seems almost designed for our Internet rewired brains.-- "Wall Street Journal"
An exhilarating, big-hearted, three-headed beast of a story...We see ourselves in all of Egan's characters because their stories of heartbreak and redemption seem so real they could be our own, regardless of the soundtrack. Such is the stuff great novels are made of.-- "Marie-Claire"