When I started reading this novel, somehow it felt a little familiar, and sure enough, I realized that I had already read the third chapter "Ask me if I Care" as a short story. I had vaguely liked it then without being all that excited about it - but I was surprised, reading it again, how vividly I remembered very much of it.
It is very possible to read "A Visit from the Goon Squad" as a short story collection - every chapter is from a different character's point of view, and sometimes the connections are very loose. But how much better is this book when read as a novel! It establishes a world and continually expands it masterfully. I found myself tracking the characters and trying to guess which of them would get their own chapters.
Another thing Egan excels at is choosing just the right point of view - and the right text form - to tell her stories. Sure, many are plain old prose - and even then I admired how Egan used 2nd person narration for a character who was doomed to die in the course of the book, making it come across eulogy-like. But there are also an article and the frequently cited powerpoint diary, helping making it a delight to read this book.
It received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction - and no, it is not totally on the same level as "The Bridge of San Luis Rey", "Beloved" or "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" for the simple reason that its characters don't aspire to the iconicity of those of the other books - but it certainly is one of the best novels of the last few years.
HBO announced a TV adaptation, and I'm looking forward to see how much fun they will have coming up with additional crossconnections between characters - there are definitely interesting opportunities here.
But do not wait for the TV version - read it now!