Monday, March 28, 2016

Julie's Review: The Goldfinch


Author: Donna Tartt
Series: None
Publication Date: 
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Length:32 hours 29 minutes
Obtained: purchased via Audible
Narrator: David Pittu
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3.75/5
Bottom Line: Story was solid and the characters were definitely flawed but needed some heavy editing that didn't get done
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library
Summary: Theo Decker, a 13-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 longing for his mother, he clings to the 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 mesmerizing, 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. ~amazon.com  

Review: The Goldfinch is a long ass novel. If I had actually lugged it around with me I'm sure it would have weighed about 2 bricks. That being said, I can see why the book won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature because it's wordy and at times pretentious.

Theo is a complicated character  and you feel horrible for him at the beginning of the story but then you want to smack him for the rest of it until the end when it seems he might have learned something from his path in life. Life has dealt him a shitty hand but there are people who love him and want to take care of him. In a lot of ways, he's lucky that he had such good friends take him in when the authorities couldn't find his dad and his grandfather didn't want him.

His life took a turn for the worse and really so did the book, when he moved to Las Vegas with his dad and Xandra. It wasn't long before he had to fend for himself and he quickly turned to drugs. It didn't help that his only friend was Boris or as I liked to call him while listening, Boris the Borish. I couldn't stand him and while yes I think that was the point of the character, I was very unhappy to see him turn up in Theo's life back in NY.

Ms. Tartt spends so much of the novel in Las Vegas that I was worried we'd be buried out there by the mob. Thank god he ended up back in New York. It's not like it was wholly better for him but I felt that being back around Hoby was better than Boris. At least Hoby seemed to really want what was best for him.

There is so much good within this book but at times I feel it gets lost in the story and in the words. I feel like it really could have been edited more heavily in some parts as well. At some point I just wanted to know what was going to happen to the painting and that's all I cared about. I was past caring about Theo and his poor choices. I was pissed that Boris came back and I was even more ticked that Kitzy turned out to be a typical snob.

In the end, I wonder if Theo will ever really be happy and become settled. He lost more than his mom that day in the attack, he lost his sense of family and sense of worth. It was his mother's love that kept him whole, even at a young age.

The Goldfinch is a book that people either really love or it's one that leaves you wondering what you just spent time on. I will say that it won't be a book that I shake for a bit of time but that's because it seems to always come up in conversation with other bookish people.

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