Around evening yesterday, I just received this email from the Overdrive department of my library.
The following title is now available for check out and will be held for you for 4 days from the time this email was sent:
A Visit from the Goon Squad
by: Jennifer Egan
Adobe EPUB eBook
And then the drama happened. Oh, you know which I'm talking about.
Banal writing... Derogatory chick-lit... Incompetent women writers...
Even though these "banal" writers have probably sold more copies, and made a lot of readers smile and gush.
But this post isn't about that, although I have some very strong opinions about this topic. (You are free to email me if you want to hear me rant a bit.) Besides, it was a long time ago in public memory and the internet age, and apologies were made and all has been forgotten.
The outcome? Jennifer Egan's book has slipped from my must-read to my to-read to my maybe-sometime bookshelf. I might even have removed it from my bookshelves at some point. But it definitely was my most-moved-about book on Goodreads over the last couple of months.
And now, I realized I can still read the book. The 7 or 8 people before me have presumably read it, raved about or slammed it, and I can find for myself what I think. But, I'm not able to make myself want to read it. Was it the drama that did it? Or all the hype and the awards? Or the fact that the writing must definitely be stellar, maybe even boring, considering that this book brought forth a debate between serious and light women's fiction? I usually read serious lit, so that shouldn't bother me. Then why am I hesitant to read this book?
Vasilly mentioned to me on twitter yesterday that she had just sent it back to the library, unread, and I've heard similar statements from many others, so I know I'm not alone. When Goodreads announced that its first book club pick is going to be A Visit from the Goon Squad, I won't be surprised if there were many groans - there have been many people who weren't so enthused with the selection.
If you have read this book or yearn to read it, please try to inspire me. If you haven't, why do you choose not to read it? It might be good after all, right? One thing I know - whether or not I read it, I will definitely check out her powerpoint chapter. Every review on this book seems to mention it.