Quotes from A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan ·  288 pages

Rating: (149.1K votes)


“I'm always happy," Sasha said. "Sometimes I just forget.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“I don’t want to fade away, I want to flame away - I want my death to be an attraction, a spectacle, a mystery. A work of art.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“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.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“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.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Like all failed experiments, that one taught me something I didn’t expect: one key ingredient of so-called experience is the delusional faith that it is unique and special, that those included in it are privileged and those excluded from it are missing out.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Sure, everything is ending," Jules said, "but not yet.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“There's a fine line between thinking about somebody and thinking about not thinking about somebody, but I have the patience and the self-control to walk that line for hours - days, if I have to.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“There are so many ways to go wrong. All we've got are metaphors, and they're never exactly right. You can never just Say. The. Thing.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Structural dissatisfaction: Returning to circumstances that once pleased you, after having experienced a more thrilling or opulent way of life, and finding that you can no longer tolerate them.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“We stand there, quiet. My questions all seem wrong: How did you get so old? Was it all at once, in a day, or did you peter out bit by bit? When did you stop having parties? Did everyone else get old too, or was it just you? Are other people still here, hiding in the palm trees or holding their breath underwater? When did you last swim your laps? Do your bones hurt? Did you know this was coming and hide that you knew, or did it ambush you from behind?”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Time’s a goon, right? You gonna let that goon push you around?” Scotty shook his head. “The goon won.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“I’m done. I’m old, I’m sad - that’s on a good day. I want out of this mess. But I don’t want to fade away, I want to flame away - I want my death to be an attraction, a spectacle, a mystery. A work of art.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Yet each disappointment Ted felt in his wife, each incremental deflation, was accompanied by a seizure of guilt; many years ago, he had taken the passion he felt for Susan and folded it in half, so he no longer had a drowning, helpless feeling when he glimpsed her beside him in bed: her ropy arms and soft, generous ass. Then he’d folded it in half again, so when he felt desire for Susan, it no longer brought with it an edgy terror of never being satisfied. Then in half again, so that feeling desire entailed no immediate need to act. Then in half again, so he hardly felt it. His desire was so small in the end that Ted could slip it inside his desk or a pocket and forget about it, and this gave him a feeling of safety and accomplishment, of having dismantled a perilous apparatus that might have crushed them both. Susan was baffled at first, then distraught; she’d hit him twice across the face; she’d run from the house in a thunderstorm and slept at a motel; she’d wrestled Ted to the bedroom floor in a pair of black crotchless underpants. But eventually a sort of amnesia had overtaken Susan; her rebellion and hurt had melted away, deliquesced into a sweet, eternal sunniness that was terrible in the way that life would be terrible, Ted supposed, without death to give it gravitas and shape. He’d presumed at first that her relentless cheer was mocking, another phase in her rebellion, until it came to him that Susan had forgotten how things were between them before Ted began to fold up his desire; she’d forgotten and was happy — had never not been happy — and while all of this bolstered his awe at the gymnastic adaptability of the human mind, it also made him feel that his wife had been brainwashed. By him.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Everybody sounds stoned, because they're e-mailing people the whole time they're talking to you.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“I think, The world is actually huge. That's the part no one can really explain.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Her only thought was of getting away, as if she were carrying a live grenade from inside the house, so that when it exploded, it would destroy just herself.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“She was clean": no piercings, tattoos, or scarifications. All the kids were now. And who could blame them, Alex thought, after watching three generations of flaccid tattoos droop like moth-eaten upholstery over poorly stuffed biceps and saggy asses?”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Redemption, transformation--God how she wanted these things. Every day, every minute. Didn't everyone?”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“I felt no shame in these activities, because I understood what almost no one else seemed to grasp: that there was only an infinitesimal difference, a difference so small that it barely existed except as a figment of the human imagination, between working in a tall green glass building on Park Avenue and collecting litter in a park. In fact, there may have been no difference at all.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“It was the hat. He looked sweet in the hat. How could a man in a fuzzy blue hat have used human bones to pave his roads?”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Rich children are always blond, Jocelyn goes. It has to do with vitamins.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“I can't tell if she's actually real, or if she's stopped caring if she's real or not. Or is not caring what makes a person real?”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“That we have some history together that hasn’t happened yet.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Rebecca was an academic star. Her new book was on the phenomenon of word casings, a term she'd invented for words that no longer had meaning outside quotation marks. English was full of these empty words--"friend" and "real" and "story" and "change"--words that had been shucked of their meanings and reduced to husks. Some, like "identity" and "search" and "cloud," had clearly been drained of life by their Web usage. With others, the reasons were more complex; how had "American" become an ironic term? How had "democracy" come to be used in an arch, mocking way?”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“See," Sasha muttered, eyeing the sun. "It's mine.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“Everyone we've lost, we'll find. Or they'll find us.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“You said you were a fairy princess
You said you were a shooting star
You said we'd go to Bora Bora
Now look at where the fuck we are”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“You kneel beside her, breathing the familiar smell of Sasha's sleep, whispering into her ear some mix of I'm sorry and I will never leave you, I'll be curled around your heart for the rest of your life, until the water pressing my shoulders and chest crushes me awake and I hear Sasha screaming into my face: Fight! Fight! Fight!
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“The world is full of shitheads, Rhea. Don’t listen to them—listen to me. And I know that Lou is one of those shitheads. But I listen.”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


“th blu nyt
th stRs u can't c
th hum tht nevr gOs awy”
― Jennifer Egan, quote from A Visit from the Goon Squad


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About the author

Jennifer Egan
Born place: in The United States
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