I Love/Hate The Goon Squad
Like Billy Pilgrim, the characters in Jennifer Egan's new novel A Visit From The Goon Squad have become unstuck in time . . . spastic in time, and like Vonnegut there are elements of post-modernism and sci-fi interwoven through the loosely connected (both in form and plot) tales of The Flaming Dildos and their associates; the book covers over forty years-- from the late 1970's into the near future-- and it covers this time-span in forms as various a story told in Power Point slides and an article written by one of the characters in the style of David Foster Wallace; the novel is rich and the though the plot is sometimes difficult to follow because of the form, the theme is apparent and powerful: time is a goon and it's coming for all of us, and, especially in the ever-changing styles and tempos of the music world, our inevitable decay will be shocking and painful, but maybe the wisdom we gain will make it all worth it: ten slide guitars out of ten.