Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jennifer Egan — A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel/short story collection/who-cares A Visit from the Goon Squad has racked up enough accolades for a defining work of our time. After reading it, I can only pray "our time" is not set in literary stone by such shoddy, ignorant documentation. The much-touted stylistic shifts are hardly whirlwinds of upheaval, and the characters are drawn so thinly as to be nothing more than vehicles for easy tragedy, tragedy that works neither on a human level nor the allegorical, societal plane she seeks to pinpoint. A few bright spots of wit and clarity can be found among the detritus, but I regret to say I  found the book to be such a disappointment of half-baked literary knowledge and easily exploited tropes that I was stunned to learn that it was not, in fact, some English major's creative writing exercise.

My full review is up now at Spectrum Culture.

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