Fasten your seatbelts! This is cool, funny and tragic and you need to keep your wits about you. The rollercoaster lives of Egan's characters whiz forward and back in time and place, taking in African safaris and Neapolitan culture, genocidal generals and the whole US sex, drugs and rock-and-roll scene. Ambitious and surprising.
The problem was precision, perfection; the problem was digitization, which sucked the life out of everything that got smeared through its microscopic mesh. Film, photography, music: dead. An aesthetic holocaust! Bennie knew better than to say this stuff aloud.
But the deep thrill of these old songs lay, for Bennie, in the rapturous surges of sixteen-year-old-ness they induced; Bennie and his high school gang - Scotty and Alice, Jocelyn and Rhea - none of whom he'd seen in decades (except for a disturbing encounter with Scotty in his office years ago), yet still half believed he'd find waiting in line outside the Mabuhay Gardens (long defunct), in San Francisco, green-haired and safety-pinned, if he happened to show up there one Saturday night.