Review: A Visit from The Goon Squad


When I first heard about "A Visit from the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan (non-affiliate), I was super excited. An alumna from my school winning the Pulitzer Prize with a series of short, interconnected stories? I'm there! 
The first "chapter" or so is excellent; unfortunately, the rest of the book lives up to the first 20-30 pages in only 2-3 more stories. It's also known for using a powerpoint presentation as a story, but I found it to be more gimmicky than anything. At one point, a character even explains the title awkwardly.


Without spoiling too much, there is very little thread between the characters' stories. You're jumping back and forth between time with glancing references to past characters. When I've read books like this in the past, there was usually some payoff for the extra "work" as a reader...this book didn't really work for me.

Overall, if rereading again, I would probably try to enjoy it more as a short story collection. If you like the idea of nontraditional storytelling techniques (like the powerpoint presentation) and want more of an interconnection, try Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (non-affiliate). It's one of my favorites and is incredibly moving.