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Manhattan Beach Reviews

Independent, Alasdair Lees

Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan, review: a genuinely affecting slow-burner

In his recent Nobel acceptance speech, Bob Dylan made a simple but important point that art’s function – for him, but perhaps more generally – is primarily to move people.

I kept coming back to this remark while reading the fifth novel by Jennifer Egan, whose fourth, A Visit from the Goon Squad, won the Pulitzer six years ago. Drawn to her fiction on the basis of that award, I found her work gifted but frustrating, oscillating between an urge for unearned poignancy or a ducking into hip playfulness.

 

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