HBO Welcomes A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad-Jennifer Egan

HBO will be developing Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad, into a television series, reports Published in 2010, discussions were already underway prior to Egan winning the Pulitzer.

A Visit from the Goon Squad is the type of book you either love or you hate. Initially there does not seem to be any structure or consistency in the telling of its story, except for what seems a bizarre preoccupation with the distance/time between point A and point B. Using various methods and varying narrative tenses, each chapter tells a different character’s point of view. But the story is not told in chronological order. The book moves from past to present, jumping around to different times and locations. The settings of the story take readers to such diverse places as Africa, Naples, Hollywood, and the future. However, beneath all this seeming chaos is the underlying theme of the novel, namely time (also known as “the goon”). We see each character deal with his/her mortality, trying to push back time and age. Yet their lives are slowly becoming irrelevant and being replaced by technology. As characters question what happened to them, the answer is deceptively simple – life happened. Time passed; they grew up.

The project will be produced by Groundswell Productions. Michael London will be executive producer and Jocelyn Hayes Simpson will be co-executive producer. Egan will serve as a consultant. HBO has not yet chosen a writer for the series pilot.

Do you think the non-traditional format of the book will work on TV?