This book is formed like a cassete tape: thirteen chapters in two parts: A & B, six for A and seven for B. Each chapter like a different song: told in different point of view, different character, different times, and different style. And (here’s the good one) a chapter that entirely written in the form of power point presentation. YES, POWER POINT PRESENTATION! Wkwkwkwkwk.
As a tribute for the beautiful beautiful mind of Jennifer Egan, I’ll try to write this review in the form of a song. In fact, a symphony. From Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E flat major. One of the most beautiful symphonies in the world.
Review No 5 in Calibri 11 minor
1. Tempo molto moderato – Allegro moderato (ma poco a poco stretto) – Vivace molto – Presto – Più Presto
“Time’s a goon, right?”. Against the goon of time. Bennie Salazar. Sasha, only Sasha. One a once punk rocker – record executive. The other is his secretary; past-haunted woman, travelled the world, long red hair, long standing compulsion to steal. We listen to the voice of her mid-thirties life, directed to the ear of a therapist. Then time fly fly flies. To earlier times. Daughter of broken marriage. Teenage runaway in Tokyo – Hongkong – Mainland-China – Naples. Coping with suicidal tendency in college. A facet of time with each visit. A visit from time. A visit from the goon squad.
Bennie Salazar welcome you in his mid-forties, divorced, struggling to form connection with nine year old son, once a successful record executive – now in lowest point of his carrier. We take the goon squad, visiting the late seventies to meet Bennie’s squad: high schoolers punk band, ready to made their first gig, daring to made their first recording under the hand of Lou Kline: womanizer record exec, Bennie’s would-be mentor. Dreams sadness expectations disappointments love conquests romance family young-spirit old-age: time’s gifts for life.
2. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto – Poco a poco stretto – Tranquillo – Poco a poco stretto – Ritenuto al tempo I
The structure. It’s music flowing. A different time, a different chapter. A different song.
Music of Jennifer Egan. Music of her words. Past to present to past to distant future, seamlessly assembled. Joyful transition. Each time a different song. Each time another singer. Cast of voices, a multitude of narrative styles. Chapter, short story, journalism report with footnotes, power point presentation. Power point presentation, ladies and gentlemen . Whether it’s the third person, you, or I, those stories will get to your heart.
Marvelous delicious read, you Jennifer. A.S. Byatt will have to wonder. Atwood will reconsider. Rest in peace the Bronte sisters. The world will be your reader. As I, my heart flutter.
3. Allegro molto – Misterioso – Un pochettino largamente – Largamente assai – Un pochettino stretto
Dreams sadness expectations disappointments love conquests romance family young-spirit old-age: time’s gifts for life. Music itself is life. What we can’t say with words we say with music. Music is a strong theme of this book. Aspects of the music: dynamic soul searching notes and voices; another one: pauses. Pause.
“Great Rock and Roll Pauses”. Favorite chapter. The one in power point. Beautiful beautiful chapter. Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Garbage, George Michael, Semisonic, Police, and many more. In beautiful power point graphs. Love this chapter so much.
From her, words voices:
“‘I’m always happy’. Sasha said. ‘Sometimes I just forget’”
“If I had a view like this to look down on every day, I would have the energy and inspiration to conquer the world. The trouble is, when you most need such a view, no one gives it to you”
“The pause makes you think the song will end. And then the song isn’t really over, so you’re relieved. But then the song does actually end, because every song ends, obviously, and THAT TIME. THE. END. IS. FOR. REAL.“