This is one of those books I’ve had since my first or second year in college. I remember buying it at the bookstore, and recall starting the novel, but never finishing it. When my mind gets bored of one page, I’ll jump around, sneaking peeks into future pages of books. This is a bad habit I’ve broken myself of by using Audible. Audible keeps me engaged, and focused, on what I’m reading. Books can be slow at times, like moments in The Lord of the Rings.
A Visit from the Goon Squad is about Bennie Salazar and his assistant, Sasha. Bennie works in the music industry, doing his best to put good music out there. Sasha is his receptionist, and also part of his brain behind the operation.
Throughout the novel, there’s this undercurrent of music: what bands kids are in, what music people are listening to, and one boy’s desperate attempt at telling his father “I love you,” while focusing on the pauses occuring during specific songs.
The reader jumps back and forth, from Sasha’s youth spent abroad, to her life as a married woman with two kids. The novel also encompasses people around Bennie and Sasha–friends, co-workers, and people who are somehow connected to the two main characters.
This is a novel that goes back and forth through time and space, moving effortlessly. One chapter, we’re with Sasha as a teenager, one chapter, we’re with her as a mother of two teen-aged kids.
A Visit from the Goon Squad is a look at music throughout the ages, how music connects and encompasses us all. The concert at the very end is proof of this. Proof that no matter how old we get, no matter what year it is, music will always be there for us to listen to, to absorb.
I recommend this novel to fans of music lovers, for people in the music industry, and for people who just like to jam to their favorite tunes.