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Thursday, February 27

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On the Web Thu Mar 17 2011

Goon Squad on Top

goon squad.jpgIf you've been following the Tournament of Books, you'll have noted that Chicago-born Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad has won against Paul Murray's Skippy Dies. Says judge Anthony Doerr, who loved both books but admits to having more of a personal reaction at this particular point in his life to one over the other:

In short, Egan's book is a terrific feat of ventriloquism, composed of 13 short stories that seesaw back and forth through time and interconnect multiple characters, particularly the lives of a music producer named Bennie and his assistant, Sasha...By the time I got through the book's penultimate chapter, a breathtaking short story told entirely through PowerPoint slides, there were tears in my eyes...If Jennifer Egan writes a book about time overwhelming characters and turning them into parents, a reader like me, who feels himself being overwhelmed by time and being turned into a parent, will plug into it in a certain way...But--and only because I'm in the absurd position of saying one very good book is better than another very good book--I'll say that A Visit From the Goon Squad was a slightly more relevant book for this particular reader at this particular moment.

Doerr isn't the only one who loved Egan's work. The novel was named the winner in the fiction category for the National Book Critics Circle Award and is now on the longlist for the Orange Prize.

 
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