ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Read This Book, Right Now: A Review of Jennifer Egan's "A Visit From the Goon Squad"

Updated on July 5, 2011
You can't judge a book by its cover - this cover tells you nothing about the book, which is a good thing...the less you know about it going in, the more you'll enjoy it.
You can't judge a book by its cover - this cover tells you nothing about the book, which is a good thing...the less you know about it going in, the more you'll enjoy it.

A Visit From the Goon Squad

by Jennifer Egan.

Published by Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, 2010.

Fiction. 340 pages.

Purchase "A Visit From the Goon Squad"

I actually hesitated about writing a review of this book. Not because I didn't want to recommend it to anyone and everyone who would listen - because I certainly do. But because the only thing I knew about it when I started reading it was that two people, whose opinions about books I highly value, had recommended it. And that's it. Nothing about the plot, nothing about the characters, nothing about the writing style. And they were right - I loved it.

And I think a large part of the reason I loved this book so much was that I had no expectations of it. Because of that, I'm going to do my best to review it without giving you too many expectations. Rather than tell you about the story, then, I'm going to tell you what I loved about this book.

  • It was unlike anything I'd ever read. And I've read a lot. I've read classics, bestsellers, obscure books, fine literature and cheesy chick lit. I've read kids' books, young adult, and adult fiction and nonfiction. I've read from almost every genre out there. And I've never read a book quite like this one. The way the story was crafted was completely unique and it kept me interested page after page.
  • It was disorienting. I had to work while I was reading this book. Especially in the beginning, my brain was in overdrive trying to piece things together and predict Egan's next move. I got confused, more than once. And being confused just fueled my desire to keep reading. With so many books, TV shows, and movies these days that are completely predictable at every turn, this book was anything but, and I found that to be its best feature.
  • It's expertly crafted. There are two kinds of great storytellers - those who use words so masterfully that each sentence is packed with meaning, and those who weave a story so perfectly that they never reveal a single piece of information except at exactly the right time. While Egan is certainly both of these, she especially excels at the latter. A Visit From the Goon Squad isn't a mystery, but it reads like one, as Egan gives you glimpses into the characters lives, thoughts, and psyches at just the right times to help the reader make sense of the whole. It's delightful to read for that very reason.

I'm not the only one who loved this book - it won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the National Book Critic's Circle Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by over a dozen publications. So it's not just my word I'm asking you to take on how great this book is. But I'm asking you to also take my advice here: get your hands on this book right away. Don't read anything else about it. Don't even read the description on the back. Just start reading. Let yourself get disoriented, get confused, and then get sucked into this incredible story. You'll be glad you did.

More by Jennifer Egan:


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • audreymanning89 profile image


      6 years ago from Arkansas

      This is one of my favorite books. It's hard to find many people who have even heard of it, much less read it.

    • Kate Spenser profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Spenser 

      7 years ago from Austin, TX

      glad you're intrigued! please let me know how you end up liking it!

    • TampSheppard profile image


      7 years ago from West Virginia, by god!

      I enjoy checking out a book by an author i love and then not ready the dust jacket. I like that you enjoyed the 'no expectations' too, it's one of those smile-coincidences. i've been hunting around for a good read and nabbed a thick book today, but i have a strong feeling this is next. thanks.

    • profile image

      The great hub. 

      7 years ago

      Sure, Kate ... i vil definately let u know bout that... thanks 4 d recommendation...!

    • Kate Spenser profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Spenser 

      7 years ago from Austin, TX

      Hope you enjoy it, the great hub! Once you're read it, I hope you'll come back over here and let me know what you think!

    • the great hub profile image

      the great hub 

      7 years ago from Ahmedabad

      Hey Kate, The way you described the book, it actually sounds Interesting....!!! Need to get the book as fast as possible....!!

    • Kate Spenser profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Spenser 

      7 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks, Anne! I hope you enjoy it!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What an unusual book review. You managed to make me run right out and get this book to start before bedtime even though you told me nothing about the plot! How'd you do that? Bravo, Kate Spenser


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)