A visit from the goon squad | Jennifer Egan

In a book in which everything is brilliantly done, there were two things the author did that were exceptional. First, the music industry setting, which she absolutely nails. (And what a perfect backdrop for a work on the passing of time, ageing and transience.) Second, the structure, which is what I loved most about this book. It’s not a novel; each chapter could work as a short story. But they’re not short stories, they’re linked, with a minor character in one chapter becoming the central figure in the next, and so on. So there’s a literary pass-the-parcel aspect which readers who like experiments with form will enjoy, but also feels very truthful; this is how actual life works, after all. It’s how events develop, how we develop, how we come to know people and be known; people and things on the margins become central, people and things that used to be huge dwindle to insignificance, and all our stories are interlinked. A big satisfying five-star read.