The Goldfinch (Paperback)
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DescriptionWinner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014 Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.
- Published: 19 June 2014
- Format: Paperback 880 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780349139630 ISBN 10: 0349139636
- Sales rank: 29
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Reviews for The Goldfinch
- Top review
Overhyped and Overrated
I admit I liked but didn't love The Secret History so I was hesitant about embarking on The Goldfinch. I should have gone with my gut. The Goldfinch starts with potential but ends up being self-indulgent and out of control. I got the feeling Tartt's editor was too scared to reign her in. Are editors not allowed to have a say after an author has had a best seller? By the time the story moves to Vegas I found myself thinking get on with it. The seemingly endless and repetitive descriptions of drug use and hopelessness became boring fillers.
While Tartt is well known for her descriptive detail, I could distinctly visualise every character except for Theo - the main character no less! Speaking of characters, many would be introduced and given enough presence for you to think they're important and then they disappear or have no resolution (Lucious Reeve anyone?).
I also struggled with the timeline. There seemed to be some kind of time warp going on (fine for Science Fiction which this is not). Even after finishing, I still don't know when the story set. I've read several other reviews lamenting the same so I'm glad I'm not alone.
On a positive note, with the character Boris, Tartt nailed the idiosyncrasies with how Russians speak English (or was he Polish?). ***Spoiler Alert*** When Boris turned up again in the last third of the novel I was surprised he was still alive!
Don't be fooled by the accolades on the cover. Just because Tartt's output is slow (ten year gaps in between books), it doesn't mean the end result is a Masterpiece. The comparisons to Charles Dickens would have him turning in his grave. I am losing faith in the "best seller" tags copious amounts of books seem to carry these days... by Tania Hyde
Great book! 5 out of 5.Very thought provoking.Couldn't put it down. Touches on historical,political,familial and several different walks of life. by jane baxter