In case you're not familiar with the book, here's the Publisher's Weekly review on the Amazon page, which does as good a job summarizing Goon Squad as anyone could in one paragraph:
Starred Review. Readers will be pleased to discover that the star-crossed marriage of lucid prose and expertly deployed postmodern switcheroos that helped shoot Egan to the top of the genre-bending new school is alive in well in this graceful yet wild novel. We begin in contemporaryish New York with kleptomaniac Sasha and her boss, rising music producer Bennie Salazar, before flashing back, with Bennie, to the glory days of Bay Area punk rock, and eventually forward, with Sasha, to a settled life. By then, Egan has accrued tertiary characters, like Scotty Hausmann, Bennie's one-time bandmate who all but dropped out of society, and Alex, who goes on a date with Sasha and later witnesses the future of the music industry. Egan's overarching concerns are about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, and lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn. Or as one character asks, How did I go from being a rock star to being a fat fuck no one cares about? Egan answers the question elegantly, though not straight on, as this powerful novel chronicles how and why we change, even as the song stays the same. (June)
I read Goon Squad again this past week for my fiction workshop class. One of our assignments in the class is to take one of the books we're reading (the class is focused on linked stories, story sequences, and composite novels, which are all the same thing, really) and make a "reverse storyboard" from it. We have to take the book, break it apart, and figure out how it works. I volunteered to storyboard Goon Squad at the beginning of the semester, and I'm very glad I did now. I dreaded the thought of getting my head around the book at first, but by concentrating as much as I had to for the assignment, I really came to appreciate Goon Squad and how hard it must have been to pull off.
I'm creating a website for my storyboard project, in which I attempt to reconstruct the characters' story arcs into linear timelines. I'll post a link to the site here once it's up.
HBO has optioned Goon Squad, and plans to make a series out of it, or something. One of Egan's inspirations was The Sopranos, but all the same, I'll believe it as a series when I see it. One of the chapters is told entirely through Power Point slides.
Edited by Tyler, 20 September 2011 - 01:59 PM.