A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
I feel all guilty, allowing myself to read what is my personal reading junk food... literary fiction. But eh, you have to allow yourself some dark, stylistically beautiful Cool Ranch Doritos every once in awhile.
[BWR Note: And this challenge may have had some unintended side effects... since when is reading literary fiction akin to eating a bag of Twizzlers in one sitting? You haven't done that? Yeah, me neither.]
While a book told in this method could easily seem disjointed, Jennifer Egan displays her incredible talent in the storytelling style she chose for A Visit from the Goon Squad. She weaves together the lives of all of these tangentially related characters, without having to pander with that big final reveal of how all characters are aware of the roles they play in each others lives. While each chapter told from the point-of-view of a different character can be seen as a standalone short stories, Egan's writing provides a central through-line that really maintains the voices of the individual characters and allows the reader to get a good sense of the motives of that character within that short chapter. Synopsis: Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.