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NBCC award finalists: the best fiction of 2010

All those book critics – the ones who devour several books a week – what did they like best last year? Here's your chance to find out. The National Book Critics Circle Awards are sort of the Golden Globes of the book world – lower profile, perhaps, than the National Book Awards but very prestigious, nonetheless. The winners will be announced in March.

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1. A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

"A Visit from the Goon Squad," by Jennifer Egan (Knopf Doubleday, 288 pp.)

Dark, funny, and elegant, Jennifer Egan's novel interweaves the lives of numerous characters in far-flung cities, with aging record executive and former punk rocker Bennie Salazar and his troubled, passionate employee, Sasha, at its core. In his review of "A Visit from the Goon Squad" for The Washington Post, critic Ron Charles reckoned that "If Jennifer Egan is our reward for living through the self-conscious gimmicks and ironic claptrap of postmodernism, then it was all worthwhile."

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