Bläeckfisk is the Swedish translation for the word octopus. I am not Swedish, but I do own a lot of furniture from Sweden and I like octopuses while admiring their multi-tasking ability. I would like to travel to Sweden at some point, plus I think it is a pretty cool looking word. Anyhow, speaking of words, I guess you could say that is why we are here. Words are the foundation for way we try to wrap our thoughts around everything in the galaxy. The tendrils that lead to emotions and curiosity. I am not here to solve the mysteries of the universe, just to discuss words in general. Specifically words written by other people and have been printed off and slapped between two slices of thin card stock. Many of these sandwiches go on to bigger and better things, some bigger and better than others. So, I guess we will be talking about those as well. If you share an interest in words or enjoi seeing what they can look like in action....välkommen! (Swedish for welcome.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

B3: A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (334 pages)

I am not quite certain how books win the Pulitzer, or how a panel could possibly decide upon one winner each year, but I do know Josef Pulitzer was Hungarian. And a supporter of the Democratic party. And was someone who hated monstrously corrupt corporations. I know this because my father is from Hungary and we Hungarians tend to stick together. Or better yet, because a few years back I wanted to learn all about him and read as many Pulitzer Prize winners in one year that I could, only to feel like the books that had won the prestigious title were selected the same big, bad corrupt organizations that Josef so fiercely despised. Talk about irony.

"So acutely had he been dreading this encounter that he felt no real surprise at the staggering coincidence of its actually taking place."

Anyhow, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is pretty quick read, great for short attention span summer reading. We follow a handful of characters that all have some tie to the music industry. With each chapter, we follow a different character's perspective. Each of the characters are linked in some capacity (my streak of this genre marches on) and we follow them throughout their respective careers. Some are producers like the neurotic Bennie Salazar; who sprinkles flakes of pure gold into his coffee in an attempt to find reprieve from an ongoing battle of impotentic proportions. Others are musicians, spouses and sidekicks all searching for a way to stay on top of the peruvial ladder of success and prestige.

I did find this read to be enjoyable as Egan is a talented author. The structure of the book makes following the lives of each character easy and she does a nice job of helping the reader connect the dots along the way. One of the final chapters is laid out almost in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, detailing the connections within the life of dear Alison Blake. One of my favorite aspects of this book is meaning behind the title. I dig the metaphor of time being a "Goon Squad", as the idea of time catching up with all of our characters is really is essentially what this entire book is about. I have heard that HBO is converting the novel into a series, which should be interesting to check out. Maybe they should also consider a mini series on Josef Pulitzer.......I would be all over that.

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