A Visit from the Goon Squad Chapters 7-9 Summary & Analysis

Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon Squad

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A Visit from the Goon Squad Chapters 7-9 Summary & Analysis

Part B

Chapter 7 Summary: A to B

New to their wealthy neighborhood, Bennie and his wife Stephanie begin to feel accepted socially when they join the Crandale Country Club. Stephanie begins a tennis partnership with Kathy and enjoys feeling a part of the new circle of friends. However, Bennie feels increasingly excluded. At a party, Stephanie observes the way people, suspicious of Al Qaeda operatives, signal to each other to watch what they say around Bennie. That night, she suggests that they move away, but Bennie says, “Let them move . . . This is my fucking house” (118). Stephanie continues to meet Kathy for tennis, but is careful to “edit these games out of Bennie’s view” (120).

When Stephanie makes a slip-up in concealing her tennis date from Bennie, she cancels her game with Kathy and reschedules a meeting with her boss, Bosco, to further cover up the original plan. Stephanie’s brother Jules, a former journalist who has been living with them since his release from prison two months ago, observes Noreen, the woman next door, as she creeps along the edge of the fence separating their properties, and suspects her of watching them. Jules comes along with Stephanie to meet Bosco. On the way, Jules observes that both Stephanie and Bennie “seem jumpy” (122). This makes Stephanie wonder if Bennie has resumed his old infidelities.

Bosco is an aging rock star whom Bennie discovered years ago and who Stephanie now works for as a publicist. Dying of cancer, Bosco wants to stage a comeback, to make a grand spectacle of his death. Stephanie thinks the idea is a form of “self-delusion” (128), but Jules is inspired to write about Bosco’s “Suicide Tour” (129). After the meeting, Stephanie feels deflated, but Jules reassures her, “Sure, everything is ending . . . but not yet” (132).

When Bennie gets home late that evening, he goes straight to the shower. Stephanie undresses to take a shower with him, but then finds a bobby pin on the floor, “generic light gold, identical to bobby pins you’d find in the corners of nearly any Crandale woman’s…

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