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Further Thoughts on "A Visit from the Goon Squad"

March 25, 2011 by PatLeach

There should probably be a word for the thoughts that come after a blog entry is written.

When I wrote about Jennifer Egan's "A Visit from the Goon Squad" yesterday, I didn't mention the impact of a long chapter late in the novel that is written as a Power Point presentation. As I discussed the book a little with a friend on Facebook, I realized that this chapter was key--it broke my groove. It changed my sense of the book overall. On a purely personal note, the "Power Pointedness" of the selection led me to read very quickly. I had previously anticipated how much of the book was left, and suddenly at the end of the selection, fairly few pages remained. This seemed jarring somehow.

As you would expect, one result of it being Power Point was that while some pithy facts were revealed, they were not explored deeply. I realize that to some extent this was Egan's intended impact. While I still enjoyed the book, I now pinpoint this one chapter as the place when the timing and pace seemed to get thrown, without enough book remaining to get back on track.

Tagged in: Notables, fiction,

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