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A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Egan, Jennifer
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1. A Visit from the Goon Squad shifts among various perspectives, voices, and time periods, and in one striking chapter (pp. 176251), departs from conventional narrative entirely. What does the mixture of voices and narrative forms convey about the nature of experience and the creation of memories? Why has Egan arranged the stories out of chronological sequence?

2. The chapters in this book can be read as stand-alone stories. How does this affect the readers engagement with individual characters and the events in their lives? Which characters or stories did you find the most compelling? By the end, does everything fall into place to form a satisfying storyline?

3. Read the quotation from Proust that Egan uses as an epigraph (p. vii). How do Prousts observations apply to A Visit from the Goon Squad? What impact do changing times and different contexts have on how the characters perceive and present themselves? Are the attitudes and actions of some characters more consistent than others, and if so, why?

4. Musicians, groupies, and entertainment executives and publicists figure prominently in A Visit from the Goon Squad. What do the careers and private lives of Bennie, Lou, and Scotty (Xs and Os; Pure Language); Bosco and Stephanie (A to B); and Dolly (Selling the General) suggest about American culture and society over the decades? Discuss how specific details and cultural references (e.g., names of real people, bands, and venues) add authenticity to Egans fictional creations.

Additional discussion questions from: Reading Group Guides
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