By Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an getting older former punk rocker and checklist government, and Sasha, the passionate, stricken younger lady he employs. even supposing Bennie and Sasha by no means detect every one other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate element, besides the key lives of a number of alternative characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over decades, in locales as diverse as ny, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.
We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist’s sofa in long island urban, confronting her long-standing compulsion to scouse borrow. Later, we examine the genesis of her turmoil once we see her because the baby of a violent marriage, then as a runaway residing in Naples, then as a school scholar attempting to avoid the suicidal impulses of her ally. We plunge into the hidden yearnings and disappointments of her uncle, an paintings historian caught in a lifeless marriage, who travels to Naples to extract Sasha from the city’s demimonde and reviews an epiphany of his personal whereas watching a sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice within the Museo Nazionale. We meet Bennie Salazar on the depression nadir of his grownup life—divorced, suffering to connect to his nine-year-old son, hearing a washed-up band within the basement of a suburban house—and then revisit him in 1979, on the peak of his formative years, shy and smooth, reveling in San Francisco’s punk scene as he discovers his ardor for rock and roll and his present for recognizing expertise. We research what turned of his highschool gang—who thrived and who faltered—and we come upon Lou Kline, Bennie’s catastrophically careless mentor, besides the fans and youngsters left at the back of within the wake of Lou’s far-flung sexual conquests and meteoric upward thrust and fall.
A stopover at from the Goon Squad is a booklet in regards to the interaction of time and track, approximately survival, in regards to the stirrings and modifications set inexorably in movement via even the main passing conjunction of our fates. In a wide ranging array of kinds and tones starting from tragedy to satire to PowerPoint, Egan captures the undertow of self-destruction that all of us needs to both grasp or succumb to; the fundamental human starvation for redemption; and the common tendency to arrive for both—and break out the cruel development of time—in the transporting geographical regions of artwork and track. Sly, startling, exhilarating paintings from one in all our boldest writers.
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Extra info for A Visit from the Goon Squad
She bent her knees and plucked it noiselessly from the belt. Not a bangle jangled; her bony hands were spastic at most things, but she was good at this—made for it, she often thought, in the first drifty moments after lifting something. And once the screwdriver was in her hand, she felt instant relief from the pain of having an old soft-backed man snuffling under her tub, and then something more than relief: a blessed indifference, as if the very idea of feeling pain over such a thing were baffling.
The words “robbed” and “security” managed to pierce the soothing backbeat that pumped through not just the Lassimo but every hotel like it in New York City. There was a mild ripple of interest from the lobby. “I’ve called security,” the concierge said, adjusting his neck. ” Sasha glanced at Alex. He was angry, and the anger made him recognizable in a way that an hour of aimless chatter (mostly hers, it was true) had not: he was new to New York. He came from someplace smaller. He had a thing or two to prove about how people should treat one another.
On e-mail he’d been fanciful, almost goofy, but in person he seemed simultaneously anxious and bored. She could tell that he was in excellent shape, not from going to the gym but from being young enough that his body was still imprinted with whatever sports he’d played in high school and college. Sasha, who was thirty-five, had passed that point. Still, not even Coz knew her real age. The closest anyone had come to guessing it was thirty-one, and most put her in her twenties. She worked out daily and avoided the sun.