A Visit from the Goon Squad Chapters 12-13 Summary & Analysis

Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon Squad

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A Visit from the Goon Squad Chapters 12-13 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 12 Summary: Great Rock and Roll Pauses 

It is sometime in the 2020s. Alison Blake, who narrates this chapter in the form of a graphic slide show journal entry, is Sasha’s daughter. Sasha is now married to Drew, and they have two children: Alison, aged twelve, and Lincoln, aged thirteen. They live in the desert. Lincoln is interested in the pauses in rock songs, sampling these pauses and playing them in loops to create his own music. Drew is a doctor, and everyone considers him a “good man” (248), although he is rarely at home with his family and has difficulty relating to Lincoln. Sasha likes to make sculptures out of “trash and our old toys” (242). Alison is curious about her mother’s past, because of a photo of her in a book about a rock and roll star, but Sasha doesn’t like to talk about that time in her life. Drew has told Alison about Rob, her mother’s best friend who drowned in college, and whom Drew tried to rescue but couldn’t.

One night, Drew arrives home from work in a bad mood. When Lincoln plays his music, composed of pauses, Drew gets frustrated and yells at him. Sasha comes to Lincoln’s defense. When Drew tries to comfort Lincoln, he runs into his room and Sasha follows him. Drew and Alison go for a walk in the desert in the dark. They walk out to the solar panels Alison usually sees in the distance, and she grows tired on the long walk back to the house. They talk about Lincoln, how Drew has difficulty relating to him, and Alison suggests that Drew help Lincoln to make graphs of the musical pauses he is so interested in. By the time they get back to the house, Alison has a brief anxiety attack, in which she fears that she may have travelled into the future and that her home will have disappeared. Discovering it all intact, she goes to bed, where she hears her father talk to Lincoln about the silence in the desert. In the final slides of her journal,…

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