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The literary equivalent of a hipster

A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan, Roxana Ortega

The problem with audio books is that it is far too easy to quantify how much time you have wasted on a story you didn't really enjoy. Ten hours, five minutes. Ten painful hours of wondering why I can't give up.


I had a lot of issues with this story; it was a struggle to finish. The only characters I could get invested in were Bennie, Sasha, and (because of Sasha) Ryan (was that even his name? I can't even make myself remember). There were so many characters, so many individual stories and perspectives. Yes, they were connected one way or another, but I feel there were just too many perspectives. It felt to me like Egan took snippets from several different books and threw them together into this one and created a way to tie them together for the heck of it. Each story being an interesting moment in the life of characters we will never truly be able to see go anywhere. The characters occasionally had closure to their story but only with a lot of their story left out.


I like to make a connection with the main characters but there are just too many to become fully invested. There were too many perspectives I didn't care to hear from and too many situations I didn't care about. Why should I get invested in a character who will be forgotten by the next chapter? I also could have done without the entire section from Jules' perspective. It was painful and not in a poignant way.


If I squint my brain, I can understand why some people really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately for me, I feel like William from Mallrats trying to see the sailboat in the Magic Eye picture. So many people see this novel's greatness and I'm just left staring and trying my best to understand why.