A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Of course you know about the power point presentation within this text. (If you don't there is one and it's brilliant, funny and eerily collapsible as a way of seeing how writers may think.) But there's artistry of a much more subtle kind, everywhere in this book. I'm awed by the way Egan shuttles in time and space giving us pure mind at various ages and in both sexes. She moves the camera so that ,Mindy , for example,  is both the too pretty, bimbo girlfriend of an older, much divorced, rich man and a thoughtful, caring, graduate student with plans far beyond her current beau. A gaggle of punk rock kids in San Francisco in the early eighties are spiked and pinned and blue-haired and they are also fragile, self-conscious about their freckles and spend afternoons eating one mother's homemade sweet yogurts after school,  and giving head to said older divorced man. A punk rock boy becomes a seasoned music producer with a kleptomaniac assistant. The situations are interesting enough but the time travel is masterful. In it, we can compare past and present, and understand although we only see impressionistically, how time both ripens and warps.

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