Every once in a while you read a book that is like a drink of cold water after a long, hot day. I read the first few pages of A Visit from the Goon Squad and immediately settled down with a sigh. My kind of language, my kind of storytelling. My cold water to parch a thirst. Every chapter in Jennifer Egan’s fantastic novel can stand on its own as a short story (some chapters in fact have appeared in magazines as short stories), but the characters are all connected. The chapters jump back and forth in time, moving a character from success to utter failure. Blink and you will miss it. Happiness is temporary. Love is illusory. Time’s a goon.