Friday, May 04, 2012

A Visit From the Recent Pulitzer Winners

recently finished: A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Delayed blogging...I actually finished this book in late April. In fact, it was good timing that I had checked it out of the library shortly before the Pulitzer Prize winners were announced. The 2012 winner for the Fiction category was: nobody!  But I just picked up last year's winner, Goon Squad, from my to-read pile and carried on as if something had happened, because I had not got around to reading the 2011 winner yet.

So, then. Did I love it? Well, I wasn't sure I was going to love it, but then it got better near the end. I do not refer to the Power Point chapter, about which I am still decidedly "Whatever" but I just really liked how aptly she illustrated the disconnect between those in the younger generation who aren't willing to say anything that might offend anyone and, well, the rest of us. That got this book so many points from me. More points than all the drugs and rock n' roll and random New York and California moments.

As I mentioned on Goodreads, I think the joke is on the reader in a way. That is, to the extent readers marvel at its incisive criticism of technology -- while reading it on their iPhone or whatever. As I also mentioned previously, I really liked that instead of capitulating to this whole "Woe is the music industry" thing she just wrote about it, accepting that it is changing but not buying into the hyped idea that it is dying.

All in all, I consider this worth a read. I also firmly believe that even if you create individual works of art, you can link them together into a greater work of art, and thus make a new work of art. In other words, it's a novel, not a collection of short stories.

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