A Visit From The Goon Squad


I am shocked that I had never heard of this before. This is mostly ignorance on my end (it won a Pulitzer, it's not like it's this hidden gem). I tore through this thing: it's a short, sweet book about people who get unmoored from themselves in time and how we all contain 1) depths 2) deeply bad ideas.

The writing felt DFW-esque in that it looks ironic at times but contains, on a layer below its surface, a deep and earnest humanism. There are no punchlines in this book: every character who initially appears flat is revealed to have depth and nuance and a rich inner life.

I imagine that the PowerPoint chapter made hay in its day. I thought it worked! It was weird and vocal and the narrative justified the choice. (I think the DFW-aping footnotes section worked...less well.)

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© 2023 Justin Duke • I hope you're wearing your favorite sweater.