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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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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.
The great thing about this book is that you can set it aside for a few days and pick it up again and not be "lost"--the writing and characters are that strong. The "plot" on the other hand seems to grow thinner and less important as you head down the last 200 plus pages as "big issues" are thoughtfully woven in.
I'm sure this will receive many 4 and 5 star ratings, but I'm giving it a very good solid 3 since, unfortunately, it seemed to run out of gas toward the end. But those first 600 pages -- great, great stuff!
As others have written, this is truly a book of at least four stories. Each if fully explored could have been interesting. The reader is asked to suspend belief in reality and not ask why the main character "drifted" through life and never took control of his life or even thought of taking control of his life. The novel is truly too long by about 300 pages and really reads like an ambitious first novel. I am surprised at how simplistic it is. The Amsterdam scenes are truly the most badly written. She is not a crime novelist. Nor is Ms. Tartt a good philosopher: Life is short, Beautiful objects that inspire transcend time, really....???? I never would have guessed those pearls of wisdom.
Not sure how this won a the Pulitzer over Phillipp Meyer's "The Son". "The Son" is a much more cohesive story and is much more intelligently written with beautiful descriptive passages.