Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jennifer Egan's Style

Jennifer Egan is the author of "A Visit From the Goon Squad." Egan's writing style is much different then any other book. She uses two very interesting writing techniques. Her first technique uses the characters perspective in a scene, as well as how the character feels about what occurred during the scene. These parts of the character are simultaneous in the story and this style gives the reader many views of what has occurred. Also Egan skips around each chapter to a new character, that connects to the character of one of the previous chapters. One chapter may be a character in their late forties, while the next is a different character with the character from the previous chapter in their teens. Her whole book is a telling of many different aspects of a group of connected characters. Her writing style is very cool, however I do not believe that it goes well with the book.

The writing style Egan uses is very original. Receiving many aspects of one story is great for the reader. In this story, however, the style does not make the book more entertaining to read. Each individual story has a loose series of events, that involve an unentertaining plot. Each story retells an act that occurred, however many of the plots are not very interesting. Also, because the book continuously skips around through time and the characters, there is never a climax. Climaxes are one of the most exciting parts of a story, however in this book there are very few.

Of course not all of the stories are uninteresting. The few stories that are interesting are "Found Objects," "Ask Me if I Care," and "Selling the General."For these stories, the style of writing works fantastically with the interesting plot. Sadly, for the rest of the stories the style of writing adds to the already dull plot. Jennifer Egan has created a fantastic writing style, and used in the right way it can be extraordinary, but in "A Visit From the Goon Squad" it is not used right. I believe that this writing style best fits with a story where all the characters and individual stories connect to tell and explain one major event. A great example of this is in the movie "Vantage Point" This movie uses Egan's ideas to the full potential of what they can do.


  1. While I do, at least I think I do, understand your argument, I would disagree. I find the plot of the book quite intriguing, just not action-packed or intense. I enjoy the relationships established, and find those relationships to be more important to the story than any event. I find that the story speaks in a truthful and entertaining way.

  2. I agree with you and disagree with Liam. I think that while the way that she writes her stories is unique, it does not make the dull stories any more interesting. If anything, it makes the different parts of the book harder to understand. There have been chapters in this book where I do not know what is going on for a few pages, then get back into it. I think Egan could at least make the stories a little more interesting and fun to read.