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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- Specific aspects within A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan uniquely shape how it works as a novel. The loosely connected characters, different points of view, the use of the PowerPoint slides, and postmodern language all play important roles in the style in which this novel is written. Egan designs a “web,” which weaves each character in connection with the others as the story unfolds. As we follow the characters throughout the story, we see how they have changed and matured as they go from point “A to B.” The characters’ connections as we follow their stories constantly develop as the novel moves across time periods in their lives.... [tags: Character, Novel, Thomas Pynchon, Science fiction]
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