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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Hardcover – October 22, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
The answer with THE GOLDFINCH is "Yes!" and "Sorta!"
To me, the book is divided into sections or novellas--the explosion, living with the wealthy family, moving to Vegas, etc.
The brilliant opening section immediately kept me engaged--I think the explosion and Theo's experience and recovery is some of the best writing I've read in years.
The family he moves in with may remind you of THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS or Salinger's Glass family. They are funny, a bit tragic and sort of odd. The father especially--something about his behavior seemed a bit "off" as did his wild dialogue; it didn't seem at all "real" in a novel that's very grounded in reality. (It's revealed later why he behaves this way.)
The next--and for me, strongest novella--takes place in Las Vegas where we "live" with Theo's father and girlfriend. The writing is vivid, the characters and plot really move along and it's all terrific.
And then, for me, THE GOLDFINCH seems to stall a bit and slightly loses its way. This painting that Theo carries with him seems to be forgotten about and then every 100 pages or so is mentioned again (not that we care.)
There's a novella about dealing in art (collection and deception) and our hero takes a downward turn, but I found myself losing interest and by page 600 was growing impatient for it to end...or for the plot to kick in again as it did in the first few sections.Read more ›
Tartt deserves credit for daring greatly in this book. It's hard to center a long novel on a fairly unlikeable character, and even harder when that character is also the narrator. In Theo Decker I felt she was trying to get at the ways a severe psychic injury plays out over a lifetime, and for the first half of the book I was fascinated by Theo even when I didn't like him. And Tartt does lay the groundwork carefully for his later misdeeds, particularly in Theo's unwanted resemblance to his father. But once Theo becomes an adult (in years if not in maturity), he makes so many stupid decisions, and is so apathetic about his life generally, that it got increasingly difficult for me to care what happened to him. It's also hard to reconcile how Theo can act as he does while having the insights he articulates. I understand that this is part of what Tartt is trying to explore (why people don't do what they know, at some level, they should do), but I don't think it quite comes off here. Theo's character felt too inconsistent to sustain the whole novel.
The high points of the novel for me were Theo's life immediately after the explosion that kills his mother, when he is taken in by the wealthy family of a school friend, and his relationship with Hobie, the furniture dealer who takes him on as a kind of apprentice.Read more ›
This is not to say that the book is necessarily realistic; it is structurally a Bildungsroman, and it constantly evokes earlier books rather than real life. In the opening section, when Theo is still living in New York City, I particularly detected The Catcher in the Rye. When he moves in with the family of a wealthy school friend, his hope of being adopted by them evokes elements of ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What's to say that hasn't already been said. The writing is vivid and stirs your senses and soul. The journey is arduous for our "Hero" and not sentimental in any way. Read morePublished 1 hour ago by Susan Brashear
I finished 'The Goldfinch' last night. I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but I didn't.
There's 12 hours I'm never going to get back again. Read more
The book drew me in from the first page. I found the main character highly believable, his flaws understandable, the plot line refreshingly different and the ending highly... Read morePublished 12 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Donna Tartt uses the English language beautifully and uniquely in her descriptive sentences. However, at times, she uses too many words and goes into such depth and detail with... Read morePublished 14 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed this book because of the vivid detail in everything the main chaotic get described. I was in his brain, I could see everything exactly as he did. Read morePublished 21 hours ago by JenC24
The Goldfinch is a wondrous yarn. Tartt takes you on an astonishing roller coaster ride; I couldn't put it down (and was sad to finish it). Brava.Published 1 day ago by Jennifer Turner
The Goldfinch is a beautiful book. Just like the painting it describes, Donna Tartt's prose creates a vivid picture of emotion that is both captivating and sometimes painful to... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Danielle Bouchard
It was very long, slow at times. It was extremely well written.Published 1 day ago by Cheryl D. Chester