Spanning four decades, crossing numerous cities and continents, and resolutely shunning chronological conventions, the book is a montage of random episodes that serve to illustrate the lives of its many characters. Seemingly inspired by the ‘six degrees of separation’ theory, the actors in this drama are drawn from a complex web of connections which all lead back to two main players, the music impresario Bennie Salazar and his beautiful-but-complicated assistant Sasha.
Reading more like a collection of short stories than a novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a unique concept which has been cleverly executed. Occasionally, the reader feels that the various strands of the story are in danger of becoming irretrievably tangled, but the author always seems to pull back from the brink – thanks mainly to Bennie and Sasha, who ‘anchor’ the narrative and prevent it from spiralling out of control.
A Visit from the Goon Squad is published in the UK by Corsair, an imprint of Constable and Robinson Ltd