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Bølle på døra : roman by Jennifer Egan

Bølle på døra : roman (original 2010; edition 2013)

by Jennifer Egan

Series: Goon Squad (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,952477938 (3.67)638
Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs confront their pasts in this powerful story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.… (more)
Title:Bølle på døra : roman
Authors:Jennifer Egan
Info:Oslo Oktober 2013
Collections:Your library

Work Information

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2010)

  1. 133
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  10. 11
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    hairball: They seem like some sort of bookends.
  11. 11
    The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra (sipthereader)
    sipthereader: Both are a series of inter-connected short stories that can stand on their own, but together tell an intricate and comprehensive story.
  12. 11
    Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson (melmore)
    melmore: Both novels are concerned with the punk scene in the early 80s, both feature lost and wounded protagonists, both trace relationships across decades.
  13. 00
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  15. 01
    The House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both A Visit from the Good Squad and The House on Fortune Street follow the often unexpected intricacies of human relationships of a handful of young adults.
  16. 01
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    ShortStoryLover: Both books are novels in stories in which each chapter can stand on it's own, but when you read the whole there is a larger narrative arc to the stories.
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  20. 02
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    Bigrider7: Each book is about musical performers who are struggling to find their identities and understand their place in a world without fame.

(see all 20 recommendations)


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» See also 638 mentions

English (458)  Dutch (7)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Turkish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (476)
Showing 1-5 of 458 (next | show all)
This read a lot like YA in parts, unsure why it won the Pulitzer but entertaining nonetheless ( )
  veritymck | Dec 4, 2022 |
I found this book both creative and bizarre. It is a non-linear narrative that skips around to different characters and timelines. It seems like a sequence of short stories, but there a few interrelationships among them. I enjoyed the writing style, but the structure was too disjointed for my taste. I was unable to discern a primary story arc. It is loosely related to music, the celebrity scene, and aging. The author inserts a slide presentation into one of the chapters. It will likely appeal to readers of experimental fiction. This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2011. ( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
2010. This novel has a interesting structure, moving from one character to another, and from time period to time period, it can be a little hard to follow. Most of the loose ends get tied up, but there are some characters I wish I knew more about…maybe they’ll be addressed in the sequel, The Candy House.

At first I felt like I couldn’t relate to most of the characters and I only stuck with it to see where the audacious structure was taking me, but after awhile I found some of them more relatable. It involves music business people, rock stars, movie stars, publicists, even a genocidal dictator, a journalist, a rapist, but also some of their lost loves, and high school and college friends. Those were the ones I could relate to. No one was gay or trans, which just seemed weird, can you still live out a life in New York City in such insular heteronormativity? Well I guess one guy, Rob, made out with a guy once, but he was suicidal and then he drowned. I guess I still like the structure more than the characters or the plot. For a woman author, the women didn’t feel strong to me. Also a whole section is in a power point format. It was actually pretty interesting, but that was a little too cute for me. So four stars for sheer audacity, but waiting for the sequel before I fully issue a verdict. ( )
  kylekatz | Oct 25, 2022 |
I was hesitant to write a review of the novel that won the Pulitzer prize for fiction this year, partly because I don't have the space for the analysis that I'd love to see this book receive here (not that I would be capable of that even if I did), but mostly because I'm just not sure I have the chops for it. My interest in A Visit from the Goon Squad was piqued by the title, and solidified by its winning the Pulitzer. Now that I've finished it, though, there is simply too much to say about this novel, which is nothing short of phenomenal and left me nothing short of breathless with the completely satiated feeling that comes when you recognize that you've just read something better than the last two years' worth of books all put together. So, while others will and have doubtlessly reviewed this better than I will, this one, at the end of the day, is just too good to keep.

"Time's a goon," or at least that's what more than one character says through the course of this book, and this, apparently, is the important thing that Egan is attempting to say in her novel. To narrow this down as the only theme would be a mistake, however, but it appears to at least be the characters' most obvious and existential struggle. We begin with Sasha, a kleptomaniac who works for a record producer named Bennie in New York City. Sasha remains the closest thing to a single protagonist that we'll get in the novel, as the novel is actually a collection of short stories through which Egan deftly and creatively switches protagonists as easily as she does time periods. The incidental character in the chapter you're reading will become the protagonist in the next chapter, and some mental gymnastics are occasionally required to keep up with who has said what to whom and when several chapters previously. The stories jump backward and forward in time, gently revealing how each of the characters impact each other throughout their lives in a manner that calls to mind Salinger's Nine Stories, and with wildly improbable events occurring (like someone being mauled by a lion during an African safari, or the futuristic addiction to handsets that appears in the end of the novel) that actually don't feel quite so improbable at the time. What remains constant, though, is that time and age are profoundly impacting the characters' lives, and they all struggle to survive and thrive in one way or another, some to more success than others. Some even manage to do so redemptively. Sasha and Bennie remain the constants, and, while not appearing in every story, are the obvious connections between the characters. This is especially true of Sasha, who leaves her mark on both the other characters and the reader as a girl you just can't help but love, despite her shortcomings, as she searches for herself and somehow manages to bring out something good in those around her.

Early in the book, I started to realize that things were beginning to sound familiar, and found myself thinking that I had read this before. I then remembered that I had, as short fiction in The New Yorker a little over a year ago. I remembered the story because, standing alone, it made no sense to me other than being a well-crafted portrait of teenage angst. That, however, is part of the beauty of Egan's craft. Each chapter can stand alone as a self-contained story. The genius, though, is how each one interweaves with all of the others in ways that you never quite expect but that you can't help but love. Again, this is what leaves me reminiscent of Salinger, and may be part of why I loved this book so much.

Perhaps a deeper theme that lies not so subtly beneath the surface of Egan's writing is that of a culture of public relations, which becomes very apparent about halfway through the novel when we are introduced to one of our characters who does public relations for a living. Manufacturing an image is something that all of these characters do to simply survive, growing their personal brands now and struggling to resurrect them when they die, as if doing so is to resurrect themselves. This exploration of image management ends in its logical conclusion in a futuristic New York City as Egan abruptly launches her final chapter into the realm of speculative fiction while losing none of her unique, literary zest.

And did I mention the music? The music that rings through this novel is a self-contained tour of rock history that will just bring smiles to your face as you recall these amazing songs. One reviewer wrote that he regretted that the book didn't come with a soundtrack. I have to echo that sentiment, but also point out how the rhythms of music, right down to the pauses (which will play a major role as Egan explores the mind of an Autistic child...yes, she does that too) seem to move the plot along with the rise and fall in tempo that's the mark of any good album. There's music to Egan's prose. The plot centers around the music industry and its peripheral components, following characters that become involved with music as children and follow it through their lives as the goon that is time fights them, some to more success than others. One of the most poignant moments for me was the character who, becoming a custodian in his later life but still playing his guitar and writing music, recognizes that there is no difference between the record producer in the shiny office building and the school custodian, that both are people, and both are equal.

There really isn't much that Egan doesn't tackle here. To list the themes and ideas with which she experiments would leave the reader shaking her head at first blush, thinking that it is too much, that no author can explore that many things in one novel, at least not well. Never once, though, did I feel that while reading. Somehow, Egan does it all well, in exactly the right amounts, as though mixing just the right sound for her album. And, even though each chapter left me pausing to digest what I had just read, the book also moves easily, because you'll find that you really can't put it down once you've started until you've reached its end, back where it started, glimpsing the characters with whom we started as they are in the future, somehow still managing to survive and re-invent themselves in the face of that goon. In fact, they've even managed to make a difference, to change the world around them for the better despite their previous mistakes. That redemption is what left this one in the realm of the amazing for me.

A Visit from the Good Squad is one of those works that dispels the myth that real literature isn't written any more. No matter your taste, you need to read this book, because you will be better for having done so. ( )
  David_Brown | Aug 15, 2022 |
powerpoint presentation is the best segment of the book by far, should have ended on that one ( )
  bluestraveler | Aug 15, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 458 (next | show all)
It is neither a novel nor a collection of short stories, but something in between: a series of chapters featuring interlocking characters at different points in their lives, whose individual voices combine to a create a symphonic work that uses its interconnected form to explore ideas about human interconnectedness. This is a difficult book to summarise, but a delight to read, gradually distilling a medley out of its polyphonic, sometimes deliberately cacophonous voices.
Readers will be pleased to discover that the star-crossed marriage of lucid prose and expertly deployed postmodern switcheroos that helped shoot Egan to the top of the genre-bending new school is alive in well in this graceful yet wild novel. We begin in contemporaryish New York with kleptomaniac Sasha and her boss, rising music producer Bennie Salazar, before flashing back, with Bennie, to the glory days of Bay Area punk rock, and eventually forward, with Sasha, to a settled life. By then, Egan has accrued tertiary characters, like Scotty Hausmann, Bennie's one-time bandmate who all but dropped out of society, and Alex, who goes on a date with Sasha and later witnesses the future of the music industry. Egan's overarching concerns are about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, and lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn. Or as one character asks, How did I go from being a rock star to being a fat fuck no one cares about? Egan answers the question elegantly, though not straight on, as this powerful novel chronicles how and why we change, even as the song stays the same.
added by sduff222 | editPublishers Weekly (Jan 31, 2011)
Jennifer Egan’s new novel is a moving humanistic saga, an enormous nineteenth-century-style epic brilliantly disguised as ironic postmodern pastiche. It has thirteen chapters, each an accomplished short story in its own right; characters who meander in and out of these chapters, brushing up against one another’s lives in unexpected ways; a time frame that runs from 1979 to the near, but still sci-fi, future; jolting shifts in time and points of view—first person, second person, third person, Powerpoint person; and a social background of careless and brutal sex, careless and brutal drugs, and carefully brutal punk rock. All of this might be expected to depict the broken, alienated angst of modern life as viewed through the postmodern lens of broken, alienated irony. Instead, Egan gives us a great, gasping, sighing, breathing whole.
Although shredded with loss, “A Visit From the Goon Squad” is often darkly, rippingly funny. Egan possesses a satirist’s eye and a romance novelist’s heart.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Will Blythe (Jul 8, 2010)
If Jennifer Egan is our reward for living through the self-conscious gimmicks and ironic claptrap of postmodernism, then it was all worthwhile. Her new novel, "A Visit From the Goon Squad," is a medley of voices -- in first, second and third person -- scrambled through time and across the globe with a 70-page PowerPoint presentation reproduced toward the end.

I know that sounds like the headache-inducing, aren't-I-brilliant tedium that sends readers running to nonfiction, but Egan uses all these stylistic and formal shenanigans to produce a deeply humane story about growing up and growing old in a culture corroded by technology and marketing. And what's best, every movement of this symphony of boomer life plays out through the modern music scene, a white-knuckle trajectory of cool, from punk to junk to whatever might lie beyond. My only complaint is that "A Visit From the Goon Squad" doesn't come with a CD.
added by zhejw | editWashington Post, Ron Charles (Jun 16, 2010)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Eganprimary authorall editionscalculated
de Wilde, BarbaraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karjalainen, HeikkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortega, RoxanaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Velina, MihaelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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'Poets claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years.'

'The unknown element of the lives of other people is like that of nature, which each fresh scientific discovery merely reduces but does not abolish.'

       - Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
For Peter M.,
with gratitude
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It began the usual way, in the bathroom of the Lassimo Hotel.
"Time's a goon, right? Isn't that the expression?"
“I'm always happy," Sasha said. "Sometimes I just forget.”
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs confront their pasts in this powerful story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.

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D'une écriture acérée , Jennifer Egan dépeint les compromissions , les faiblesses et le courage d'une galerie de personnages inoubliables .
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