A Visit from the Goon Squad

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Bosco, the former guitarist of the Conduits, has fallen from fame and become fat, alcoholic, and sick with cancer. In an attempt to regain his fame, Bosco decides to go on a suicide tour, during which he plans to create a documentary, and eventually die on stage. This plan does not come to fruition. Instead, Bosco ends up recovering and running a dairy farm.

Bosco Quotes in A Visit from the Goon Squad

The A Visit from the Goon Squad quotes below are all either spoken by Bosco or refer to Bosco. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Time and Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of A Visit from the Goon Squad published in 2011.
Chapter 7 Quotes

"I want interviews, features, you name it," Bosco went on. "Fill up my life with that shit. Let's document every fucking humiliation. This is reality, right? You don't look good anymore twenty years later, especially when you've had half your guts removed. Time's a goon, right? Isn't that the expression?"

Related Characters: Bosco (speaker), Stephanie
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:

Stephanie, who is a PR woman, goes to visit Bosco (the former guitarist of the Conduits) to talk about promoting his new album. At one time, Bosco was a very famous rock star, but he has aged, become alcoholic, and is dying of cancer. He has now decided that he wants to die on stage during his tour.

Bosco’s comment about time being a “goon” both gives the novel its title and speaks to the devastating effects of time and aging on these characters’ lives and bodies. The novel shows the way in which popular culture ignores the truth of aging, and remains obsessed with youth and vitality, but Bosco wants to counteract this. He is willing to go to great lengths to regain his fame (dying on stage), but also desires to show himself authentically, and provide an authentic view of aging and ruin.

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Chapter 12 Quotes

Conduit: A Rock-and-Roll Suicide, by Jules Jones. Mom bought the book, but she never mentions it. It’s about a fat rock star who wants to die onstage, but ends up recovering and owning a dairy farm. There’s a picture of Mom on page 128…Mom’s mouth is smiling, but her eyes are sad. She looks like someone I want to know, or maybe even be.

Related Characters: Alison Blake (speaker), Sasha Blake, Bosco, Jules Jones
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:

The book Alison mentions here provides a glimpse into her mother’s past. The book calls back to the chapter “A to B”, which highlights Bosco’s decision to go on his “suicide tour” and Jules’ desire to document it. In “A to B” these characters seem completely ruined—Jules by his mental illness and Bosco by his alcoholism and cancer—but the presence of the book here suggests that both of these characters have found some kind of redemption.

Sasha’s lack of interest in the book suggests that she wants to put the troubles of her past behind her. Alison, however, wonders who her mother was in the past. The picture of Sasha smiling with sad eyes speaks to the conflict she lived with for so many years, and her struggle to find herself authentically. This is no longer the woman Sasha is as Alison’s mother, and Alison wants to connect with her mother in a deeper way by understanding who her mother was in the past (while also perhaps just wishing her mother were as “cool” as she once was). Though Alison generally identifies more strongly with her father, she senses a connection with her mother as she looks at this image.

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Bosco Character Timeline in A Visit from the Goon Squad

The timeline below shows where the character Bosco appears in A Visit from the Goon Squad. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7: A to B
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption  Theme Icon
...in the day. Stephanie lies and tells Bennie she is going to see her client Bosco—the guitarist for the Conduits—at ten. Bennie is suspicious, knowing Bosco is an alcoholic and never... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption  Theme Icon
...to the city, Jules mentions that he plans to join Stephanie in her meeting with Bosco. She wonders if this is some kind of punishment for lying to Bennie. As they... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Fame, Art, and Popular Culture Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption  Theme Icon
Before going upstairs, Stephanie explains that Bosco is different than he was when the Conduits were still playing. She looks at the... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Fame, Art, and Popular Culture Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption  Theme Icon
Bosco tells Stephanie that he wants interviews and features in magazines. He wants to record every... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption  Theme Icon
...and Bennie were married, when they were young, lucky, and strong. She feels disturbed by Bosco’s obsession with dying. Jules agrees that everything is ending, but he believes it is not... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption  Theme Icon
...later to tell her he is stuck in traffic. Stephanie imagines laughing with Bennie about Bosco, and feeling happy again. She decides not to lie to Bennie about her tennis games... (full context)
Chapter 10: Out of Body
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
...naked, even once, it would ease the deep pressure he feels inside of himself. As Bosco (the guitarist) crowd surfs overhead, Drew spots Rob and pushes his way back to him.... (full context)
Chapter 12: Great Rock and Roll Pauses
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Fame, Art, and Popular Culture Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption  Theme Icon
...about a book called “Conduit: A Rock-and-Roll Suicide,” by Jules Jones. The book is about Bosco, who wanted to die on stage, but who ended up recovering and owning a dairy... (full context)