Thursday, 5 January 2012

A Visit From The Goon Squad in flowchart form...

UPDATED: 13 May 2013 to include corrections and additions :-)

I love a good flowchart. I like graphs. And lists. And filling in forms. And parallel remote controls. But I really love flow charts. 

So, when I finished  the novel 'A Visit From the Goon Squad' by Jennifer Egan yesterday, I thought "I need to make a damn flowchart of that!!"

This book was awesome. Music, New York, punk, youth, despair, theft, Powerpoint presentations and a billion interconnecting characters who hook up across decades, continents and time. Ever since I saw Robert Altman's 'Shortcuts', I have loved the seemingly disjointed, that becomes a chain of connections that cross and link back on themselves. Lovetey love, love love. 

I also loved the concepts within the book around the passage of time, of ageing, of wondering who you have become and who were you in the first place.  

And how awesome is a book with a whole chapter written as a Powerpoint presentation? I'll tell you how awesome- Totally.

If you haven't read the book, I hope you can just appreciate my Character Map as a piece of art. I think the links and connections between us all are beautiful. I would love to  map my friendship group- how we all came to know and love each other, who links to who and in how many ways. then I would love to map Brisbane- the ultimate small town. I love knowing that I have met people who I could have met through one or two totally different people. I have been thinking in Six Degrees of Separation for years... even before Kevin Bacon was the key....

In the mid-late nineties, I became obsessed with a flow chart I created that developed into a concept called The Seinfeld Theory of Reality... One day I will Blog about that... If I feel like exposing even more of my crazy...

Have you read 'A Visit From the Goon Squad'? If not, why not?!?

x Gillian


  1. mY GooDNESS... fab... do you sleep? Aunty M x

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  2. Oh please, please, PLEASE map your friendship group!
    You are the Flowchart Queen. xox

  3. cheers Marg- I do sleep... and dream of flowcharts and lists... :-)

  4. Ang- I'm on it. Get ready to be mapped, baby!

  5. I must admit I do love a good flowchart. It's a picture of sense! There are not enough flowcharts used on a domestic everyday basis. I look forward to seeing more of your flowcharts :-))

  6. thanks Lady Doo Da. I think u will be seeing more flow charts... I feel a new obsession coming on! I wonder if I can make money from flow charts?!?!

  7. Only you, dear friend could make a practical flow chart beautiful and necessary.

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  9. Great flowchart and thank you! (Just finished the book)

  10. THANK YOU! I just finished this fabulous book and thought, "I wish i had made, like, a flow chart or something of all these characters." So i google the book's character list and your beautiful chart pops up! Perfect!

  11. Well done ! I read it and really appreciate your immensely helpful chart ; one of my many reactions to the book was "My brain hurts"
    This is good medicine!

  12. Our bookclub just read this book - and we all loved your flowchart! I have linked to it in our minutes from that month's meeting. I hope you don't mind? If you do, please leave a comment and I'll remove it.

  13. This is terrific--funny and charming!

  14. This is terrific--funny and charming!

  15. Replies
    1. ...and I mean that in the old-fashioned literal sense

  16. are you sure alfred is the father of joe?

  17. I did the exact same thing on my dry erase board at home while i was reading egan's novel. one note- alfred did not father joe. page 47 in the hard back.

  18. Joe isn't Alfred's son. He's the son of an African warrior that Charlie exchanges glances with while on the Safari.

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