"The days of losing touch are almost gone," proclaims one of the many characters in Jennifer Egan's meditation on the loss of youthful idealism to the ravages of time and the secrets that reverberate through the years. It is the early 1990s, and Sasha, Drew, and Rob are students at New York University, bright 20-somethings on the verge of promising lives, in a city aglow with possibility. Bill Clinton has just been elected, the Internet is beginning to bubble up from its underground status into a mainstream phenomenon, and 9/11 is still a blissful decade away. "We'll meet in that new place," says their friend Bix, the Internet prophet, "and first it'll seem strange, and pretty soon it'll seem strange that you could ever lose someone, or get lost." However, the realities of losing touch and getting lost animate this novel, with characters breaking away from each other far more ...
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