2010 Texas Book Festival
A Visit From the Goon Squad
'A Visit From the Goon Squad'
Not quite a novel – more like linked short stories (with PowerPoint!) – Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad was this summer's classy beach read: a relentlessly, often ruthlessly funny exploration of our ever-molting relationship to music, from adolescence to adulthood, acting out to mellowing out (usually sheepishly). The cult of celebrity and Earth's fundamental unsustainability are some of Egan's grand-canvas concerns, but it's the small-scale family stuff – the miscommunications, abandonments, and shambling pretend-vows to do better – that hooks the reader in, so much so that it's frustrating when Egan reshuffles the character deck chapter to chapter: Each is so singular and engrossing, one longs for longer visitation rights to them all.
Jennifer EganModerated by Amanda Eyre Ward
Saturday, Oct. 16, 3:45-4:30pm, Capitol Auditorium, Rm. E1.004
Literary Death MatchWith Hank Stuever, Mark Haskell Smith, Bob Shea, Rick Meyerowitz, Julie Klausner, Jennifer Egan, and Holly Black; emceed by Todd Zuniga
Saturday, Oct. 16, 12:30-1:30pm, Paramount Theatre