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Showing 1-10 of 528 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,050 reviews
on May 24, 2013
My 3-star review is for the AUDIO version. I listened to this book on Audible, as I do many books now. The female who reads this book has a sweet, definitely feminine voice. So, when she is reading the part of some of the male characters, her voice still sounds dellicately feminine and I could not tell the male characters from the female. Her 'voices' for most of the other characters are great, but she does not have the range of male voices necessary to do this multi-character book justice. This is surely a good read. Just be sure you READ it, instead of listening to it. If you want a good listen, get THE ORPHAN MASTERS'S SON in audio or CD. The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction).
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on September 12, 2017
Exquisite sentences, wonderfully realized characters, major themes--all entangled in a very compelling structure. First fiction I've read by Egan, but now eager to read more.
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on December 30, 2014
It just didn't keep me interested. Friends had recommended it, so I bought it, but . . . I struggled to continue it, let alone finish it. It was well written, but I didn't enjoy the shifting POV and jumps back and forward in time.
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on August 9, 2014
This series of interconnected short stories has its moments. It takes a while to get used to the characters and the flashbacks and forwards of their lives. The problem is that some of the characters were so unsympathetic they weren't worthy of my interest, while others and their situations were poignant. If I could I'd rate GOON SQUAD 2.5 stars, I would. I'm not sure if this is Ms. Egan's first novel. If so, I might take a chance on her next one. If this is her third or fourth, I'm done.
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on April 5, 2014
This book is really more like a collection of loosely linked short stories. It comes together in the end, but lacks a consistent plot and story line. Once you get invested in a character the narrative switches and it takes several pages before the connection is even apparent.
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on November 12, 2015
In short, I disliked this novel. However, I am willing to admit that this may be more due to qualities concerning myself as a reader than Egan as a writer. The novel has been admired for its accessibility, a quality I would like to attribute Egan’s best-sellerdom to. Egan combines this accessibility with a level of difficulty, causing her readers to feel the novel is challenging, a combination that is ultimately rewarding and rightfully so. The number of characters is sufficiently straining on the reading, so much so that when we as readers discover a connection between these characters we feel a certain sense of accomplishment, we feel as if we are successfully solving some sort of puzzle. I will not deny that Egan is justly commended for her clever connections, and I even enjoyed piecing together people as well—but this in itself is a problem should we not stop to inquire further. What exactly does making these connections serve to show? And, further, why does it matter? Well, if you ask her critics, they will rant and rave about the comment on humanity with respect to time: “time is a goon,” so to speak. Well yes, that is what I have been told, but I found myself enjoying the discussion of these themes and connections more than the actual content of the text. I felt as if the text did not actually SAY much. Further, I felt as if I were being instructed how to feel rather than experiencing any evoked feeling through the reading itself. It is possible that I saw her writing consisting of loose-connections amongst feebly developed characters on the surface, while underneath there is more. Regardless, I could not help but view Egan’s typical surface-level statements as rather offensive and at the very least cliché and cheesy. From the very first page, I was in disbelief that she actually attributed Sasha’s stealing to wanting “to teach the women a lesson,” since the woman had left her wallet in plain sight. This sort of blanket statement, obvious and unoriginal, appears throughout the novel, notable again in reference to Alex, who “had a thing or two to prove about how people should treat one another.” These statements were lost on me, had Egan not been taught to show not tell? Or perhaps this is the point: the obvious notions acting as some play on simplicity, on our contemporary culture? I’d like to think this to be the case, but I have an unsettling feeling that this novel holds less resemblance to artistic criticism than a bad TV show, acquiring a following not for the content but for the discussion it evokes.
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on May 26, 2015
This is an exceptionally written book and one that definitely keeps you on your toes because of the various characters and their relationships. My only gripe was that not all of the characters seemed 100% relevant to the overall story, they seemed more like random space fillers. Otherwise, I really enjoyed it.
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on May 17, 2013
Great read, while it wasn't the best book i read, it is now one of my favorites. It was the feel of the movies traffic and crash. Where the book plays out in multiple characters lives and towards the end how their lives interjoin. Really enjoyed the narration by Roxanne Ortega, her style of reading was fun and engaging. She brought and depth and profile to each character that you might not experienced on your own. I will definitely read this book again & again.
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on November 29, 2014
The nonlinear storytelling is amusing, but the writing is hit or miss in many places. Most of the way through the book I was left wondering if the Pulitzer Prize people had brain damage when they read this book. According to the synopsis, music is supposed to pulse on every page, but in truth there is very little music in the book and the writing is decidedly un-lyrical most of the way through. There are places where you can tell the author was locked-in and rocking-and-rolling, but most of the time it felt like the author was struggling to tell the story. However, by the end it becomes apparent why this book was awarded a Pulitzer. It captures a swatch of Americana from the 80s into the near future in raw detail. While the character driven story winds around a couple central figures, the reader is left with a vague history of the music industry and a depressing glimpse into a technology driven future. It's the glimpse into the future that gives the book teeth. (And maybe "teeth" is too gentle.) The vision of the future presented by Egan has fangs that sink into your skin and suck out any rosy notions you may have had for the future. Even with the superfluous details and side stories, this book is worth a read.
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on December 23, 2013
My wife and I heard Jennifer Egan speak at a lecture series in Syracuse NY. The audience had several questions about this book and that hooked us on reading it. There was one chapter with an experimental aspect that Egan debated with her editors about including or not that piqued our curiosity. We weren't disappointed.
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