I Absolutely Love Jennifer Egan 's A Visit From The Goon Squad Essay

I Absolutely Love Jennifer Egan 's A Visit From The Goon Squad Essay

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I absolutely love Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. Each short story is packed with emotion and follows the same underlying theme: the consequence of time. Egan’s stories shift back and forth through time and show the connection between each of the characters. There is never a dull or boring moment because the reader is constantly trying to figure out where exactly he or she is: in time, in place, and in what character’s perspective. The way in which she writes her collection seems to mimic real life. People enter into each other’s lives with no prior knowledge as to what has happened in the past, and people leave each other’s lives with no knowledge as to what will happen in the future. This collection has given me new writing goals and has reminded me of some truths about fiction writing that I seem to have forgotten.
It’s always been my dream to write a novel, but lately I had been feeling like the actual process of writing a novel would be impossible. I have a hard time staying focused, I get bored easily, and it’s hard for me to organize long pieces of work chronologically and then translate that organization into writing. Since reading A Visit from the Goon Squad, however, I am newly inspired. Writing a series of short stories that all connect seems like something that is actually achievable for me at this level and also something that could be even more interesting than writing a novel. There is an obvious advantage to being able to write one short story at a time and have it be its own, separate world. This takes out the monotonous regularity that comes with writing an entire novel.
The first story in Egan’s collection is about Sasha, the kleptomaniac. Throughout the next couple of stories, I was waiting for S...

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... later she’ll stand with her mother among a crowd of cheering parents beside a field, watching him play, a dreamy look on his face as he glances at the sky (pg. 82).
My goal is to one day be the type of writer that Jennifer Egan is. Her collection mimics the inconsistency of real life, jumping around in time as we are all always living within our own personal pasts, futures, and presents. Each character feels defined and unique. The ending does not give the reader what they want completely but also does not completely disappoint. It is satisfying in the way that life is. Some characters go on to live happy lives, some do not. The real winner is the reader, who, for the entirety of the book, is like God. The reader is the only one who gets to really know each and every character’s ins and outs, and the only one who really knows all of their dreams and secret desires.

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