Summary

Jennifer Egan's spellbinding audiobook 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 listener 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-30s, 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, 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. A sly, startling and exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2011 Jennifer Egan (P)2017 Little, Brown Book Group
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Bee on 20-12-17

Good, but a bit too many (very well chosen) words

This is obviously a well written book, but it just goes on a bit and is ultimately about nothing much. Nonetheless it held my attention however what I take to be the powerpoint section-more particularly the lists, was really boring and what was the point of it-autistic people like lists so what?

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 11-05-18

Beyond Brilliant!

The first audio book I have got to the end and simply started again: it was so rich with complex characters, interweaving plotlines and poetic imagery. If anything, it was even better the second time than the first - and it was already the best audio book I have ever listened to. Manhattan Beach is a treat too but this is definitely the best!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ronit on 25-02-18

the best book so far

What other book might you compare A Visit from the Goon Squad to and why?

This read reminded me of Joyce's "Dubliners". So much depth, compassion, and sensitivity towards her characters. The narration was absolutely superb. I still can't move on to my next book.

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