A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

By Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an getting older former punk rocker and list govt, and Sasha, the passionate, stricken younger girl he employs. even supposing Bennie and Sasha by no means detect every one other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate aspect, besides the key lives of a number of different characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over a long time, in locales as assorted as big apple, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.

We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist’s sofa in ny urban, confronting her long-standing compulsion to thieve. Later, we research the genesis of her turmoil once we see her because the baby of a violent marriage, then as a runaway residing in Naples, then as a faculty pupil attempting to circumvent the suicidal impulses of her ally. We plunge into the hidden yearnings and disappointments of her uncle, an paintings historian caught in a useless marriage, who travels to Naples to extract Sasha from the city’s demimonde and reports an epiphany of his personal whereas gazing a sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice within the Museo Nazionale. We meet Bennie Salazar on the depression nadir of his grownup life—divorced, suffering to hook up with his nine-year-old son, hearing a washed-up band within the basement of a suburban house—and then revisit him in 1979, on the top of his early life, shy and delicate, reveling in San Francisco’s punk scene as he discovers his ardor for rock and roll and his reward for recognizing expertise. We research what grew to become of his highschool gang—who thrived and who faltered—and we come upon Lou Kline, Bennie’s catastrophically careless mentor, besides the enthusiasts and youngsters left in the back of within the wake of Lou’s far-flung sexual conquests and meteoric upward push and fall.

A stopover at from the Goon Squad
is a publication concerning the interaction of time and tune, approximately survival, in regards to the stirrings and variations set inexorably in movement by means of even the main passing conjunction of our fates. In a wide ranging array of types and tones starting from tragedy to satire to PowerPoint, Egan captures the undertow of self-destruction that all of us needs to both grasp or succumb to; the elemental human starvation for redemption; and the common tendency to arrive for both—and get away the cruel development of time—in the transporting nation-states of paintings and song. Sly, startling, exhilarating paintings from one among our boldest writers.

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There’s a problem with your son’s hair,” he’d said. ” Stu walked Bennie over to Chris in the chair and parted his hair to reveal some tan little creatures the size of poppy seeds moving around on his scalp. Bennie felt himself grow faint. “Lice,” the barber whispered. ” Bennie had blurted. ” Other people were staring, and Bennie had felt responsible, with his own riotous head of hair, to the point where he sprayed OFF! in his armpits every morning to this day, and kept an extra can at the office—crazy!

She heard Alex ask. The concierge was young and spiky haired. “We’ve called the police,” he said defensively. Alex turned to the woman. ” “In the ladies’ room. ” Alex swung around to Sasha. “You were just in the bathroom,” he said. ” “No,” she managed to say. She had Xanax in her purse, but she couldn’t open her purse. Even with it zipped, she feared that the wallet would blurt into view in some way that she couldn’t control, unleashing a cascade of horrors: arrest, shame, poverty, death. Alex turned to the concierge.

He said. “Someone stole my wallet. My ID is gone, and I have to catch a plane tomorrow morning. ” She stared beseechingly at both of them. It was the sort of frank need that New Yorkers quickly learn how to hide, and Sasha recoiled. It had never occurred to her that the woman was from out of town. ” Alex asked. “The concierge said he would call. ” She looked helplessly at the marble floor around their feet. Sasha relaxed slightly. This woman was the type who annoyed people without meaning to; apology shadowed her movements even now, as she followed Alex to the concierge desk.

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