Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Great Book Guru,
I am so excited about the Village-wide Garage Sale this weekend in Sea Cliff and especially the Friends of the Library's sale on the Village Green- there will be hundreds and hundreds of books at bargain prices and even a crafts table for children. But I have a mission: it is my friend Paul's birthday and I'd like to get him a great book- he loves music from the "80's and an interesting plot line. Any thoughts? Frugal Gift Giver

Dear Frugal, I have a great idea for your friend and if you are lucky you will find it at the sale: A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD by Jennifer Egan. The goon squad is Time and we are all its victims - a rather sobering theme for a birthday gift…. Egan's novel is a series of sketches in which we meet thirteen characters whose lives are interconnected. It spans from the 1960's through 2019 and takes place largely in New York City but there are scenes set in Africa, Italy, and California. Each person impacts others-some in minor ways, some in major ways - but it is Time that always triumphs. We meet Benny as a forty year old and then as a teenager and finally as a man in his sixties. When we meet Sasha in the opening pages, she is a thirty-five year old kleptomaniac and then a tortured young girl in Italy, and finally a settled sixty -year old. The young man Alex whose wallet she steals in 2003 reappears in 2019 as internet scammer of sorts working for Benny in a world that is experiencing a baby boom after fifteen years of war. As you can tell, we bounce back and forth over countries and decades; it's a wild ride and read - very worthwhile!


  1. Dear Book Guru, i can't thank you enough for recommending this book. Just finished it and i found myself disappointed that it was over--always a sign that a book has really affected me. All the best, Loyal Follower

  2. Thanks, Loyal Follower- I treasure your kind words!