The days of losing touch are almost gone

A visit from the goon squad
A visit from the goon squad

I don’t generally read future fiction. I’ve generally been bound by historical, mythological stretches or strong Indian books in the last few years.

A visit from the goon squad is totally not the book I’d pick up on my own. And definitely not the one I will keep for a beach or a picnic blanket in the park. It’s got the pace befitting the trains and the U-Bahns. Because the nervousness that the last sentence isn’t over yet as my stop comes adds to the existing drama.
Jennifer Egan is not imagining a new planet or a galaxy. She is extrapolating current lives and drawing out a powerful (almost real mostly imaginable) future, moving through from the 80s to the 90s to the 2000s and also to the near future seamlessly. The narrative is unique: written in a broad range from sentences to power-point charts with special attention to pauses in seconds in between music tracks that stop before they really do. The book integrates technology matter of factly in the book, like it is in our lives.

When I went away from this blog, I also made Facebook private, getting back was a bit of a struggle. Part of the reason was that I did lose touch with a lot of people (some intentionally and some I missed). But could I ever really hide under the rock?

A visit from the goon squad
“..it’ll seem strange that you could ever lose someone, or get lost”

Through the summer I also understood the other side- most (if not all) people were parroting niceness about everything because that’s what they were paid for. I was quietly suffering. And many old schoolers showcased an ‘ethical ambivalence’ of sorts. As if, saying that the post is sponsored, was a better way of being less authentic. And then who cared about authentic anyway. And she addresses these both sides.

You want to be challenged and stretched mentally that’s why you read these books. A visit from the goon squad is the signal in the noise. And she didn’t pay me to say this. Or anything, for that matter :-).

2 comments
  1. i wonder if that book cannot be constrained by where it should ideally be read! I like the the title of this post. Made me think if the days of losing touch were long gone and if they are actually making a virtual come back.

    text me 🙂

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