Monday, October 24, 2011

August 7th, 2011 - A Visit From the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan won a Pulitzer Prize and  the people in my book club were still not super excited to read it. One of the nice things about organizing though and going to every meeting is that eventually my votes add up and people have to read it anyway :) *cue maniacal laughter.*

Having read it though, it was mostly meh for me. I guess I didn't really connect with any of the characters, but I always blame myself for being super weird when that happens and not the writer.

Anyway, A Visit From the Goon Squad is another novel where each chapter focuses on a different character of a seemingly random net of friends and acquaintances and spans from the 80s to sometime in the next 10 or 20 years.

The last two chapters were the most interesting. Chapter 12 in the book is a written as a PowerPoint presentation, the premise of that being that the "narrator" of that chapter was a young girl who had to keep PowerPoint notes for school and she just adopted that format for journal writing.

Egan actually created the PowerPoint and posted it on her site so you can see what it's supposed to look like with color and sound.

I think that the chapter was an innovative device but I couldn't really see a generation using PowerPoint for journal writing when you have things like live-journal and blogging and Tumblr

The last chapter was set in the not to distant future when people would rather text each other than talk to each other when out to dinner, and babies dictate the popular trends with their own personal point and click devices. (i.e. the most random, colorful, catchy artists are the popular ones). It was interesting to see the struggle between generations with adapting to technology and keeping up with society and trying to retain our human connections.

I didn't love it but I thought it was worth reading.  

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