Leah Greenblatt
June 09, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A Visit from the Goon Squad

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jennifer Egan
publisher
Knopf
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

A Visit from the Goon Squad, the latest from Jennifer Egan (The Invisible Circus, The Keep), is centered, nominally, on the aging owner of an independent? record label and his comely, kleptomania-prone assistant. But it is in fact a frequently dazzling piece of layer-cake meta-fiction, told via a sprawling constellation of characters and linked vignettes that spill from the late-’70s Bay Area punk scene to the African plains, the dissolute slums of Naples, and the flush New York suburbs of the ’90s boom. Egan’s expert flaying of human foibles has the compulsive allure of poking at a sore tooth: excruciating but exhilarating, too. A?

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