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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Hardcover – October 22, 2013
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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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
While I appreciated the author’s writing skills, I did not, for the most part, enjoy the book. I listened to the audio version; perhaps the written version would have been more... Read morePublished 13 hours ago by Ann Graham
Too wordy! Describing something in agonizing detail I yelled out loud- oh for God's sake move on! It could have been 300 pages shorter. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by Nancy Grady
I know a lot of people enjoyed this book. I am not, however, among them. In found the boy at the heart of the story to be a total bore and gave up somewhere in Nevada, I think it... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Janemb35
A bit wordy. Sometimes God sometimes superfluous and not necessary. But an engaging story although a bit hard to get into.Published 1 day ago by D. L. Smith
The apparent plot of this fairly long novel is the simple theft and recovery of a masterpiece. The excess is composed of minimally relevant scenes and overly complicated... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Sidney Weber
While I enjoyed the storyline fiction, it dragged on a little too long. The first 500 or so pages, I played along with the storyline; the latter part of the book was a little too... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kevin
Very difficult for me to relate my life with the characters in the book. Too wordy and way too much descriptions of EVERYTHING! Would not recommend it.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I haven't felt this emotionally involved in a book in a long time. I felt like I knew each character personally. I really loved this book.Published 2 days ago by Layne Thomas
good read, great example of how important it is to obtain care after a traumatic event in one's life. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Marlene Pratt