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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Paperback – April 7, 2015
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"A soaring masterpiece."―Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Dazzling....A glorious, Dickensian novel, a novel that pulls together all Ms. Tartt's remarkable storytelling talents into a rapturous, symphonic whole and reminds the reader of the immersive, stay-up-all-night pleasures of reading."―Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind....Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction."―Stephen King, New York Times Book Review
"The Goldfinch is a book about art in all its forms, and right from the start we remember why we enjoy Donna Tartt so much: the humming plot and elegant prose; the living, breathing characters; the perfectly captured settings....Joy and sorrow exist in the same breath, and by the end The Goldfinch hangs in our stolen heart."―Vanity Fair
"Drenched in sensory detail, infused with Theo's churning thoughts and feelings, sparked by nimble dialogue, and propelled by escalating cosmic angst and thriller action, Tartt's trenchant, defiant, engrossing, and rocketing novel conducts a grand inquiry into the mystery and sorrow of survival, beauty and obsession, and the promise of art."―Booklist (starred review)
"There's a bewitching urgency to the narration that's impossible to resist. Theo is magnetic...The Goldfinch is a pleasure to read."―Publishers Weekly
"A long-awaited, elegant meditation on love, memory, and the haunting power of art....Eloquent and assured, with memorable characters....A standout--and well-worth the wait."―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"It's a classic...If you haven't read it, read it. If you have, read it again."―Andy Cohen, Today Show
"Where to begin? Simply put, I'm indescribably jealous of any reader picking up this masterpiece for the first time. And once they do, they will long remember the heartrending character of Theo Decker and his unthinkable journey."―Sarah Jessica Parker for Goop
About the Author
Donna Tartt is the author of The Goldfinch, which was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her novels The Secret History and The Little Friend have been translated into 30 languages. She was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and is a graduate of Bennington College.
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Donna Tartt is at times a brilliant writer and a masterful wordsmith. But she reminds me of a Grammy-winning jazz trombonist that I saw at a club once. He was an amazing technician and could coax more notes and different sounds out of the trombone than anyone I had ever heard. And while I could certainly appreciate his technical abilities and marvel at the otherwordly sounds he could create with the instrument, in the end the performance was not satisfying. I was looking for some semblance of a melody and artistry at least somewhat pleasant to the ear, but what I got was a cacophanous display of technical ability.
Yes, you can have too much of a good thing. And Donna Tartt proves it with The Goldfinch. No matter how skillfully she writes about Theo's drug-fueled escapades in Las Vegas, we are so tired of hearing about them after a while. And regardless of how well she conveys all of the things going through his mind while holed up in a hotel in Amsterdam, we just don't care at some point.
I understand the tendency of a good writer to do more of what she does well. What I don't understand is the writer's conceit in not recognizing and overcoming that tendency. While I see this as a serious fault in a writer, I find it unforgivable in an editor. Both of them are guilty of taking a 500 page great book and turning it into an 800 page good book.
Hobie sprang off the page full-fleshed. I wanted him in my life with all of his fastidious charm, his love and understanding of the treasures he patiently restored, his welcoming warmth.
Then there was Boris. The wild card of a boy. A charming danger of a man. He was self-destructive, loving without restraint. A friend with betrayal in his mind and regret in his heart that grew so large he almost died trying to remedy it. Yet leaving the story, you knew that cycle of betrayal and restitution would never end until Boris ended. The anomie of Boris, his “desire without limit” would never be satiated; it would only intensify.
Incisive and shattering. Tartt has the ability to surgically remove your heart and replace it fully engorged with fresh blood and clarity of insight about things you know, but have never had the words to express.
One tantalizing theme:
The sharing of beauty and ideas across time. Like the painting of the Goldfinch tantalized and affected the lives in her story, I’m sure Ms. Tartt’s novel will tantalize and affect the lives of future readers long after today’s readers are dust.
What I hated:
The prose: Yes. The author drove me insane with the redundant pounding of ideas--again and again--until three pages in I was screaming, "You've made your point. I get it! Where did the story go?"
The end: It was a summation of philosophy. I was left never to know what happened to any of the characters I’d come to know and relate to or even dislike. What I could be certain of was they continued their lives into “age and loss” with “no way out but death.”
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taste in reading.
But the ending left me feeling bitter because I wish the writer had given Theo a more satisfying ending. A resolution to the out of control life he was living.Read more