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A Visit From the Goon Squad; A to B 
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Post A Visit From the Goon Squad; A to B
A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD
Jennifer Egan

Chapter 7: A to B



Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:19 am
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Post Re: A Visit From the Goon Squad; A to B
In the last chapter, Scottie asked Bennie ‘I want to know what happened between A and B …. A as in where we were both in the band chasing the same girl. B is now. This is also the title of Bosco’s new Album A to B and he is asking the same question. ‘…how did I go from being a rock star to being a fat fuck no one cares about?’
Egan enjoys playing around with time. This is post Twin Towers, but Stephanie and Bennie have not yet split up, and Sasha still works for Bennie. So technically, this should be in the A section. I wonder what Egan is trying to tell us here about time.
I’m reminded of Alba’s comments in Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits , where Alba writes ‘…that memory is fragile and the space of a single life is brief, passing so quickly that we never get a chance to see the relationship between events; we cannot gauge the consequences of our acts, and we believe in the fiction of past, present and future, but it may also be true that everything happens simultaneously – . . . .’
I was surprised at my reaction to Stephanie, and found her very likeable. I had assumed she was the driving force behind the move to Crandale, but it is at Bennie’s insistence that they stay. Perhaps it is this dogged persistence that has given him such a successful career, but then why does the equally dogged and talented Scottie end up picking litter?
Stephanie is grudgingly accepted into Crandale society through her passion for tennis, a game she abandoned in her early teens, although very talented. Are these the tennis players that Scottie hears ‘on the courts behind the Williamsburg bridge’? I’m not familiar with the area.
‘Time’s a goon, right?’ says Bosco, when they are discussing his suicide tour, mirroring one of Bennie’s favourite catch phrases ‘five years is five hundred years’.
Time as a bully and a thug, lawless, not adhering to human constructs. (Egan got the inspiration for this from The Sopranos – an American series about the Mafia.
I’m also left wondering about Bosco, who used to be a ‘skinny red head’, and the red-haired Sasha. Could they be father and daughter? I expect I’ll have to read on to find out.


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Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:56 am
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Post Re: A Visit From the Goon Squad; A to B
heledd.....thank you for the quote from Allende. It does seem that Egan's fractured narrative is showing us how much time can mislead us while ticking away. It's nice to believe that we have some control over our lives, but if we are constantly trying you new avenues, where do we end up once our time is used up. Bosco seems to be choosing the ultimate in self actualization.
Interesting thought about Bosco and Sasha. I guess we'll see.



Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:13 pm
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