Jennifer Egan talks about her book:
I began A Visit from the Goon Squad without a clear plan, following my own curiosity from one character and situation to the next. My guiding rules were only these: 1) Each chapter had to be about a different person. 2) Each chapter had to have a different mood and tone and approach. 3) Each chapter had to stand completely on its own. This last was especially important; since I ask readers to start over repeatedly in A Visit from the Goon Squad, it seemed the least I could do was provide a total experience each time.
In other words, you can read this book without making a single connection between any two chapters. They were written—and published—as individual pieces, apart from the book as a whole. So, as you read A Visit from the Goon Squad, don’t worry about whether you’re “getting it” or whether it’s really a novel, or what connections you might have missed. None of that matters. The point is to have fun reading a tangle of stories in a lot of contrasting styles. If you’ll do that, then you’re exactly the reader I’d hoped for.