Cover of: A visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
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December 23, 2020 | History
An edition of A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)

A visit from the Goon Squad

1st ed.
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This edition was published in by Alfred A. Knopf in New York.

Written in English

Jennifer Egan's spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging 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 reader 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-thirties, 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 as a runaway living in Naples, then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend. We plunge into the hidden yearnings and disappointments of her uncle, an art historian stuck in a dead marriage, who travels to Naples to extract Sasha from the city's demimonde and experiences an epiphany of his own while staring at a sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Museo Nazionale.

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, reveling in San Francisco's punk scene as he discovers his ardor 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 ranging from tragedy to satire to PowerPoint, 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. Sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers. From the Hardcover edition.

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Previews available in: English

Edition Availability
Cover of: Visit from the Goon Squad
Visit from the Goon Squad
2012, Thorndike Press
in English
Cover of: Visit from the Goon Squad
Visit from the Goon Squad
Mar 01, 2011, Corsair
paperback
Cover of: A Visit from the Goon Squad
A Visit from the Goon Squad
2011, Anchor
Cover of: A Visit from the Goon Squad
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jun 08, 2010, AudioGO
audio cd
Cover of: A Visit from the Goon Squad
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jul 01, 2010, Blackstone Audiobooks
audio cd
Cover of: A visit from the Goon Squad
A visit from the Goon Squad
2010, Alfred A. Knopf
in English - 1st ed.
Cover of: A Visit from the Goon Squad
A Visit from the Goon Squad
2010, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Electronic resource in English

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A Visit from the Goon Squad

First published in 2010



Work Description

Jennifer Egan's spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging 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 reader 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-thirties, 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 as a runaway living in Naples, then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend. We plunge into the hidden yearnings and disappointments of her uncle, an art historian stuck in a dead marriage, who travels to Naples to extract Sasha from the city's demimonde and experiences an epiphany of his own while staring at a sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Museo Nazionale.

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, reveling in San Francisco's punk scene as he discovers his ardor 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 ranging from tragedy to satire to PowerPoint, 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. Sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers. From the Hardcover edition.

Links outside Open Library

A visit from the Goon Squad

1st ed.

This edition was published in by Alfred A. Knopf in New York.


Edition Notes

Genre
Fiction

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
813/.54
Library of Congress
PS3555.G292 V57 2010

The Physical Object

Pagination
p. cm.

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL23872524M
ISBN 13
9780307592835
LC Control Number
2009046496
OCLC/WorldCat
449844391

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