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jcunningham

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Caliban's War
James S.A. Corey
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The Shining Girls

A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad - I was going to post a really cool review of this, post-dated from the year 202X, but I couldn't get Goodreads to display my PowerPoint presentation correctly*.*This is a lie. I did not write a PowerPoint book review because I:am lazy/am not that clever/don't have PowerPoint. Or is it all three*?*It is all three.I loved this book, which is funny because it's basically short stories, and I usually don't have the patience for short stories. But these did me the favor of interlocking nicely in a way that made me feel like I was reading a novel, and also of being published with a very pretty cover with foil stamping, printed on that textured, slightly rough paper that assures you that you are reading a classy, classy book that will probably be nominated for something."Time is a goon," we're told, and the older I get (and I'm not even old), the more I realize that this is really true, as years fly faster and faster and things that once sounded like a long way off are suddenly in the rear view mirror (like: it is 2010; in one year, 9/11 will have been 10 years ago). I used to think 70 seemed old. With my parents newly retired and pushing the seven-decade mark, though, anyone who dies before 80 seems like they died young. I take heart in the fact that, barring a car crash, cancer, or freak tripping-over-the-cat-related catastrophe, I'm still less than halfway done with my brief time on this planet. Is this morbid? Are you supposed to start pondering your mortality a year from 30, or is this some kind of commentary on The Times in Which We Live? Or am I just shifting my fears that I won't end up doing any of the neat things I want to do into the future, the fear that time is only going to keep getting faster, and pretty soon we'll be talking about where we were on that day 20 years ago when Everything Changed, or seemed like it would.This isn't really about the book, but it is. Egan follows a bunch of characters who work in the music industry, ping-ponging from life to life, from the present, to the past, to the future. It makes total sense: time's a goon; it will creep up on you as quickly as turning a page. Nostalgia is a trap too: I don't miss the good old days for what they were, but for what lay ahead of me, the time I've already spent in-between then and now. This book encompasses all of that, allowing us to see it all: the way past regrets and mistakes shape our future choices, the way our lives will unfold and blossom or wither in ways we can't possibly expect, or maybe can exactly predict.Oh, and it's also fabulously written in about a dozen different styles, from first- to second- to third-person and in newspaper articles and even in, yes, PowerPoint graphics. And it's about the music industry which is very cool but also big business and that's an interesting dichotomy, how do you commercialize and corporatize the spirit of punk rock, the primal scream of youth looking around and seeing nothing but waste, looking forward and seeing nothing but uncertainty?