I recognize I’m a solid two years late to the bandwagon on this one, but I read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch over the summer and I have very mixed emotions.
Rather than write out a book report, allow me to compile a list of what I loved and what left me peeved:
- Holy crap: this author did her research. Her knowledge of the art world, historical and more recent, was impressive. I found myself looking up most of the artwork referenced because she described it so beautifully.
- Theo Decker is one of the most thoroughly troubled characters I’ve read in a long time. His personality quirks seemed far-fetched, though, so this is equally a praise and a criticism.
- Tartt has an exceptional vocabulary. Or a really good thesaurus.
- I found Theo’s childhood substantially more interesting and complex than his adult years; the suffering teen was relatable, real, and triggered a genuine emotional response from me.
- Many people refer to The Goldfinch as a “Dickensian” and I agree in terms of length, but not in terms of overall creativity. The book is LONG and draws on and on and on. I’ll be honest, I found myself putting it down for days at a time, which is not my normal behavior if I like a book.
- The plot was absolutely far-fetched, especially the last 200 pages. Art theft? Fraud? A big heist? Knowing so many people all over the world? Really?
- Other than a few “SAT-level” words, it was very simplistically written.
- The drug usage, neglect, and tragedy became downright sickening. I’m not one to say a book needs a trigger warning, but maybe this one does?
Long story short: will I read more of her work? Meh, it’s unlikely.
It wasn’t bad, but the ending was so lackluster (and spoon-feeding of the author’s “moral of the story,” if you know what I mean)
Have you read it? And, if so, what did you think? Please leave a comment and weigh in!
~ Victoria Elizabeth