Chances are, if you’ve been hanging out in vaguely cool company recently, you’ll have heard the words ‘Goon Squad’ (as it’s known as) bandied about. Somehow, Jennifer Egan’s latest novel has become THE book to drop into conversation this summer – but don’t let that put you off. For once, there’s a reason why it’s so hyped – and has already won multiple awards, including this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Spanning the 60s till the near future, Goon Squad manages to effortlessly weave together what is possibly the weirdest cast of characters you’re ever likely to come across. Bennie Salzaar, a music mogul, and his PA Sasha are the main anchors of the book – but it’s the people they touch during their lives that mean we get to meet African dictators, faded film stars and suburban housewives. Some of the chapters were originally written as short stories, but this is most definitely a novel – and one that will have you LOLing hard one minute, having a bit of a cry the next. Oh and not forgetting the final chapters, which resemble a powerpoint presentation – sounds gimmicky but is actually quite, quite brilliant. Read it now before the HBO TV series gets underway.
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