The novels A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, Eunoia by Christian Bok, and Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem all use unconventional narrative form and/or genre. Whether it be the unconventional fact that it does not take place in chronological order; which is featured in A Visit From the Goon Squad. Or that all the words featured in the poems of Eunoia are narrative and only feature one type of chosen vowel(s). And that the main character, Lionel has Tourette’s Syndrome and seems to be smarter than everybody else and what the other characters give her credit for in Motherless Brooklyn.
In A Visit From the Goon Squad all the characters are connected in one way or another, which is typically not seen in most novels at the rate this book features this. An example of this would be when Rob drowns in the East River it also happens to be the same river where Scotty was fishing. The book’s narrative also does not take place in chronological order. Because of this the reader may be reading about one space in time in the book and in the next chapter; it is another completely different year, whether it be the past or the future. One of the book’s main character is called Sasha, and because the book is written in such a way that is seen as her view. This not only creates a bias but raises the question with the reader if we should believe that Sasha’s narrative is the truth. The reader knows that Sasha is a kleptomaniac. The book also includes unique, adult language for bands such as ‘The Flaming Dildos’ which is a band. The following quote is an example of the switching of the chronological order and the narrative. “The Flaming Dildos rehearsal is on Saturday, in Scotty’s garage. When Jocelyn and I get there, Alice i...
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...erbal taffy.” (Lethem, Jonathan. “Motherless Brooklyn” A Division of Random Book House. 2000. Book.) While the other characters cannot solve Frank Minna’s murder, Lionel does. This is because he uses his Tourette’s Syndrome to his advantage and does not let go of the hint that Frank Minna gave to him before he died, Irving. And while other authors might have painted Lionel as not the sharpest tool of the shed because of his Tourette’s or even him being taken care by someone he is not. Lionel is depicted more human, even though he is naïve to the fact that Frank Minna had associates in the mob but eventually learns of this and grows from it. He now knows that Frank Minna was not the type of person that he thought he was; and instead of reacting in a negative way the person that he thought he was and instead of reacting in a negative way he knows better for next time.
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