In A Visit from the Goon Squad there are stories in each chapter in which many include Bennie Salazar (an old rock music executive) and his old assistant Sasha and his friends. The book follows the lives of these characters as they grow older and life sends them in different paths that they weren’t really supposed to go in. The book goes back in forth (from the past to the future) in the late 1960s to 2020 in and around New York City, sometimes the story goes into Africa, Italy, and California.
The term “Goon Squad” was originated from groups with violent thugs would harm anyone that they believed against. Later on the term “Goon” referred to any violent thug and that’s where the Metaphor comes in. In the story Bosco (Bennie’s friend) in chapter “A to B” says “Time’s a goon, right” (96) which refers to the way time and fate rob most of the characters childhood in the book, innocence and success.
Time is the stealth goon, the one you ignore because you are so busy worrying about the goons right in front of you.
As Bosco continues to complain “How did I go from being a rock star to being a fat f*** no one cares about? ” I chose this quote because although some of the characters do end up finding happiness, they prove it’s always a limited happiness and it is rarely in the form that you want it to be in. Though the progression of time depresses and disappoints many of the characters of A Visit from the Goon Squad, as the novel nears its close, Egan suggests an alternative.
The advance and takeover of technology, as Egan admits via her final chapter, is inevitable. The quote that I picked was “5 sets of keys, 14 pairs of sunglasses, a child’s striped scarf, binoculars, a cheese grater, a pocketknife, 28 bars of soap, 85 pens” (2) I chose this quote because these items really symbolized her, these items came from shoplifting. It was to remind he of her shoplifting ways and it was always going to be there staring straight at her face.
The way Sasha developed throughout the story mainly be growing up and taking chances. Before she was an interpersonal but now she can communicate way better than before. She used to steal things that weren’t hers but now although she still does that she holds herself back because what she has now which is a family and happiness. “There’s a fine line between thinking about somebody and thinking about not thinking about somebody, but I have the patience and the self-control to walk that line for hours – days, if I have to. ” I chose this
quote because it shows me now that she does have the self control now when she didn’t have it before. The way Bennie developed was by actually settling down with someone when he use to have affairs. “Like all failed experiments, that one taught me something I didn’t expect: one key ingredient of so-called experience is the delusional faith that it is unique and special, that those included in it are privileged and those excluded from it are missing out. ” This quote shows me that people learn from their mistakes/ past and so did he.
Since many of the characters are in the rock music business it plays into one of the books themes which is aging and the loss of innocence. Many young kids now love the singers like Beyonce and Lady Gaga and they refer to Madonna as old school. There’s no way to avoid becoming part of the past. I have realized that becoming the past is inevita “We’ll rise up out of our bodies and find each other again in spirit form. We’ll meet in that new place, all of us together, and first it’ll seem strange, and pretty soon it’ll seem strange that you could ever lose someone, or get lost.
” “I can’t tell if she’s actually real, or if she’s stopped caring if she’s real or not. Or is it not caring what makes a person real? ” “There are so many ways to go wrong. All we’ve got are metaphors, and they’re never exactly right. You can never just Say. The. Thing. ” I’m done. I’m old, I’m sad – that’s on a good day. I want out of this mess. But I don’t want to fade away, I want to flame away – I want my death to be an attraction, a spectacle, a mystery. A work of art. ”