#BookBeginnings A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



A Visit from the Goon Squad* by Jennifer Egan

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Written like a collection of loosely-knit short stories, the novel centers on a two characters, a recording executive named Bennie and his employee, Sasha. The stories move through different times and settings.

First Sentence:

It began the usual way, in the bathroom of the Lassimo Hotel. Sasha was adjusting her yellow eye shadow in the mirror when she noticed a bag on the floor beside the sink that must have belonged to the woman whose peeing she could faintly hear through the vaultlike door of a toilet stall. Inside the rim of the bag, barely visible, was a wallet made of pale green leather.


Do you think she’s going to take the wallet or not?

While in a therapy session, Sasha reveals that not taking the wallet is a bigger challenge than stealing it.  Showing her unusual response to what is essentially an everyday occurrence gives the reader a deep insight into her character right at the start.

I can see why Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for this novel.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Or have you already read A Visit from the Goon Squad?


  1. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I read this book in 2010…and gave it four stars, which means that there were some elements that did not please me. The writing style was beautiful, but the perspectives shifted frequently, as did the time periods. I wonder if I would like it more now….

    Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

    • Roberta

      I’ve read books where it is easy to get disoriented by abrupt changes in point of view. Not a breezy summer read in any case.

  2. Anne@Headfullofbooks

    I am a reader of Pulitzer books so this one is on my list…but it is a rather long list. I should move this one up the list and get to it soon. i didn’t realize it was a collection of related short stories. Love that approach. My Friday Quotes – The Prince and the Dressmaker

    • Roberta

      We’ve already read the Pulitzer winners Olive Kitterage by Elizabeth Strout and The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson as part of this challenge. It has been an interesting mix.

  3. Yvonne

    This intro and teaser has me curious. Sounds like an intriguing book.

  4. Donna

    I’m kind of intrigued by the loosely connected short stories as the method for telling the story. See what we are featuring at Girl Who Reads

  5. Lauren @ Always Me

    I haven’t read this yet, but I hope too. Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  6. Yvonne@FictionBooks

    This definitely isn’t one for me, although if I only had the first lines to go by and no premise, I guess I might keep reading for a few pages more.

    I read a book some while back called ‘Bohemia’ by Veronika Carnaby, which had a very similar theme and whilst it was an impressive piece of social commentary from the times and I rated it 4 stars, I just knew that I wouldn’t really want to pursue any more writing of a similar ilk.

    I am amazed that this person has actually gone into a toilet cubicle and left her bag outside. That is totally asking for trouble surely?

    I hope that you enjoy the book and thanks for sharing 🙂


  7. Bev Bouwer

    I like the idea of short stories about the same characters – that way the author can develop the characters, and the stories are engrossing. Looks good. Thanks for the visit.

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