A Visit from the Goon Squad Chapters 1-2 Summary & Analysis

Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon Squad

  • 35-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 13 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a literary scholar with a Master's degree in English Literature
Access Full Summary

A Visit from the Goon Squad Chapters 1-2 Summary & Analysis

Part A

Chapter 1 Summary: Found Objects

Sasha is thirty-five years old but pretending to be twenty-eight and is a kleptomaniac. On a first date with Alex, she steals a wallet from the open purse of a woman in the ladies’ room. When the woman discovers the loss, Sasha decides to correct her action, discreetly returning the wallet and telling the woman about her condition. The woman agrees not to tell anyone about it. Sasha and Alex go back to her apartment, where Alex is charmed to find that she lives in “a bathtub-in-the-kitchen apartment” (13) and decides to take a bath. Also in Sasha’s apartment is her collection of stolen objects, which she keeps, piled up on a pair of tables, “separate from the rest of her life” (16).  Alex sees a box of bath salts in the midst of the stolen objects, and decides to use them in the bath. The smell of the bath salts causes Sasha to remember the friend they belonged to, Lizzie, from whom Sasha is now estranged. While Alex is in the bathroom, Sasha steals a worn piece of paper from Alex’s wallet, on which is scribbled in fading ink, “I BELIEVE IN YOU” (17).

“Found Objects” is narrated from a 3rd-person point of view, and the perspective alternates between the immediate action and the conversation Sasha will later have with her therapist, Coz. In this layer of the narration, we learn that Sasha refuses to talk about her father, who left when she was six years old, choosing rather to say that she doesn’t remember him, “for Coz’s protection and for her own” (8). Sasha reveals in her therapy session that she never got the chance to return the paper to Alex and says that she hasn’t had any contact with him since that night. The shame she feels as she talks about this episode in therapy indicates that she hopes to overcome her compulsion to steal.

Chapter 2 Summary: The Gold Cure

Bennie Salazar feels disillusioned with the direction the music industry is taking. In a meeting to discuss the future of Stop/Go, a band…

This is just a preview. The entire section has 1282 words. Click below to download the full study guide for A Visit from the Goon Squad.