A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan


“Time’s a goon, right? Isn’t that the expression?”

Jules had drifted over from across the room. “I’ve never heard that,” he said. “‘Time is a goon’?”

“Would you disagree?” Bosco said, a little challengingly.

There was a pause. “No,” Jules said.

— Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

It’s not easy in a book to communicate the passage of time . . . you can write a book that takes place over a long period of time, but what I mean is to communicate the passage of time so the reader feels it rushing by, which Jennifer Egan has done.

Highly recommended!

  2 comments for “A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

  1. MS
    31 May 2012 at 9:27 pm


    Was the pause supposed to communicate time rushing by? Was the quote supposed to illustrate your point? Felt disjointed to me. Like time stood still while I wondered what you were trying to say.

    Also, I Googled Jim J. Bellows. Yeah, not a big surprise there either.

  2. PE
    31 May 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I wanted to give the reader an understanding of the title. A goon squad is a group of thugs who beat people up. In this book, time beats people up. Bosco, for example, used to be a rock star and is now a fat slob no one cares about.

    But time is a stealth goon. People are so worried about the goons right in front of them that they don’t think about time until it’s passed them by.

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