Michelle Pitts, September 8, 2014 (view all comments by Michelle Pitts)
I think through some parts of this book, giving it a 4 is a bit to generous. This was my first Tartt novel so I didn't go into it already loving the author (which I REALLY feel played into critical reviews) so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I can say that I really loved the first half of the book. Tartt did a great job of weaving together how a life can utterly fall apart before a child even reaches puberty. The second half of the book just fell apart for me. Aside from the characters flaws and personal decisions, it seemed like the end was rushed together, without the care the first half had been treated with. I was very, very disappointed in this because I had felt very attached to the story. There were a couple of places in my copy where the wrong word or misspelling occurred which surprised me. Given all the hype of the book and subsequent prize, I just would not have expected so many problems in it.
The 4 I gave it was for the story of young Theo. He deserved it for surviving.
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G Chappa, June 16, 2014 (view all comments by G Chappa)
To the Avid Reader, who has thought recently as I have, "when will I find a truly good book to read again?" The book that will change the way you think about certain things; a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it and possibly started another...is here. Don'T be intimidated by the sheer volume of this book, I promise that it's length and weight will become a calming balm, a weight to keep you in the here and now... Just like our main character Theo and his painting. This Novel is a not unlike a great work of art by a Master Painter in the Renaissance: Bold colors, a portrayal of realism which somehow seems more beautiful or perfect than real life... however realistic it seems, will make you feel more and more as though drifting through a dream. The prose is not too 'flowery', and yet far from dry... Tartt's writing is more like symbolic poetry than as an everyday writer of a typical novel. I am an AVID reader; and as so, can read up to 5 books in a week... However, this novel is so overwhelming beautiful and heart-wrenching that I'm at a loss to decide what to read next or just re-read it! The Goldfinch is one of the BEST books I've read in a Decade... Every time I see a book by a Russian author, an antique piece of wooden furniture, or Dutch paintings from the 1600's...I think of Theo, and therefore this book... Completely unforgettable!
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writermala, May 15, 2014 (view all comments by writermala)
Theo Decker is on his way to school with his mother when they stop at a museum. What happens next is a life changing moment. Theo meets Welty and Pippa and loses his mother. He is afraid that one action of his could lead to his being accused of looting cultural artifacts. The Goldfinch is a continuous thread throughout the book - a thread which leads Theo to the underworld. But this book is more than just that. Philosophy comes from the most unexpected sources as when Boris says, "Maybe this is one instance where you can't boil down to pure good or pure bad..." "Maybe sometimes the wrong way is the right way." A little bit of everything in this book. I loved reading it.
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NappyDSM, April 14, 2014 (view all comments by NappyDSM)
Hooray for the Pulitzer committee! Donna Tartt is without doubt one of the most gifted novelists of our era. Twenty years after the publication of her spellbinding, literary-cult-inspiring The Secret History, we finally have The Goldfinch as further proof of Ms. Tartt's incantatory prowess. Far from being a mere plot device, the "rescue" of a small 17th Century Dutch painting serves as a window into the world of its hero's loves and obsessions, his meditations on friendship, loyalty, and of the role of art in our lives. As you are pulled into its vivid whirlwind of suspense, try playing director and cast it as the blockbuster film it will certainly become this fall. From Pulitzer to Oscar in one breath-taking swoop - and the year's greatest read!
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dreena, April 12, 2014 (view all comments by dreena)
With better editing, this could have been a great read. The characters are well drawn, but there are too many pages of unnecessary details. If you enjoy long, drawn out tales, this is for you.
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Little Brown and Company -
by Mark I.,
Donna Tartt delivers a beautifully rendered story about a young boy whose life takes a striking turn when an art museum explosion presents him the opportunity to "rescue" a priceless painting that will always hauntingly remind him of his mother.
by Mark I.
This book is perfect. My reading of it was more of an immersion. I loved Theo and Boris. I felt I was there with the characters and in their heads. I could not stop reading this book! It's one of the best books of the year.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Donna Tartt's latest novel clocks in at an unwieldy 784 pages. The story begins with an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum that kills narrator Theo Decker's beloved mother and results in his unlikely possession of a Dutch masterwork called The Goldfinch. Shootouts, gangsters, pillowcases, storage lockers, and the black market for art all play parts in the ensuing life of the painting in Theo's care. With the same flair for suspense that made The Secret History (1992) such a masterpiece, The Goldfinch features the pulp of a typical bildungsroman — Theo's dissolution into teenage delinquency and climb back out, his passionate friendship with the very funny Boris, his obsession with Pippa (a girl he first encounters minutes before the explosion) — but the painting is the novel's secret heart. Theo's fate hinges on the painting, and both take on depth as it steers Theo's life. Some sentences are clunky ('suddenly' and 'meanwhile' abound), metaphors are repetitive (Theo's mother is compared to birds three times in 10 pages), and plot points are overly coincidental (as if inspired by TV), but there's a bewitching urgency to the narration that's impossible to resist. Theo is magnetic, perhaps because of his well-meaning criminality. The Goldfinch is a pleasure to read; with more economy to the brushstrokes, it might have been great. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
by Kirkus (Starred Review),
"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."
by Michiko Kakutani, New York Times,
"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."
by Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review,
"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."
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