Goldfinch, The

Donna Tartt
The author of the classic bestsellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel.Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2022-01-02
This book was very vivid and I felt like Tartt deserved the Pulitzer for it. BUT...I struggled with some of the parts feeling too long. But other parts felt perfectly paced...so I wonder if it's just my own experience keeping me from enjoying some parts.

I was pleasantly surprised to find I really got into the talk of antique furniture and repair! I think Hobie was my favorite character in the while book.
Reviewed: 2021-01-19
4.5 stars

The other reviews are right:
- the writing, the voice, is exquisite. It was a joy and a privilge to read
- it is (maybe), too long.

There is nothing else to say about the first point. About the second....

Q: Is The Goldfinch too long?
A: For its structure and its story arc, it is too long, but not much. It should have been 650 rather than 770 pages. But what could be cut? Whatever was removed would be finer than most novels one could ever read.
A: But it holds a rightful place in the pantheon of "Rambling American Disolute Drama Novels". Other members include "The Adventures of Augie March" and anything by Jonathan Franzen...
A: And it was a pleasure, and had it been 2,000 pages, I and millions of others would have gladly read for weeks and months.
Reviewed: 2020-09-28
As you can see, this book took FOREVER to finish! And not because of its size—sure 771 pages is a lot, but I’ve done it before—it’s because of the content! Was I the only one who felt like it had no point?? It almost had a stream of consciousness feel to it since the narrator just kept going off on tangents of description and random philosophizing. Also, I didn’t feel like there was an actual moral of the story? I think it was just that—a story. It made me think that when Boris is describing good and bad events at the end of the book if maybe that’s what the author was trying to convey with this book—that hey, maybe Theo isn’t the best person and maybe he didn’t do the best things, but that doesn’t mean he/the story isn’t good. I think I’ve been in that world too long—here I am going off on a tangent and philosophizing!!
Reviewed: 2019-11-21
This is the first book I've read for a long time that I couldn't put down, so, despite its flaws, I'm going to give it 5 stars.
Reviewed: 2019-06-15

Literary Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2014), National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Fiction (2013), Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) Nominee for International Book Award (2014), Women's Prize for Fiction Shortlist (2014), Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction (2014), Audie Award for Literary Fiction (2014)

 

Reviewed: 2017-03-10

People seem to love or hate this book. I really enjoyed it. It is, without a doubt, very dark. 
-mm

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