Why did nobody tell me about Donna Tartt ?

(60 Posts)
AnyFucker Wed 18-Jun-14 21:46:37

Have just discovered her...am currently reading The Goldfinch

I have some catching up to do, methinks...

StantonLacy Wed 18-Jun-14 22:09:13

Oh my word...I am really quite jealous grin

To think that you've got The Secret History to look forward to - it is just fantastic (The Little Friend, not so fantastic IMO)

Haven't managed to even start The Goldfinch yet as I'm scared it won't live up to Secret History standards (harsh, I know)

You lucky person, enjoy!

AnyFucker Wed 18-Jun-14 22:11:56

I am fairly sure I tried The Little Friend some years ago and thought meh so never tried again

There was bugger all at the library this week...so got The Goldfinch and am about a quarter way through. It is fantastic. These sunny evenings are perfect for sitting in the garden with a book and a glass of wine

elQuintoConyo Wed 18-Jun-14 22:34:05

Ooooooh The Secret History, one of the best books I've ever read apart from Twilight

I jest grin

I shall stick The Goldfinch on my special December winterfestivalgiftlist!

MrsBungle Wed 18-Jun-14 22:35:29

I've just started the goldfinch too. I'm really enjoying it so far (although I'm not very far in yet)

thecuntureshow Wed 18-Jun-14 22:36:23

I'm about a quarter of the way through the Goldfinch too. Don't read nearly as much as I should (she says, watching Newsnight)

Af i a reading goldfinch at the moment 17% in :-)

AnyFucker Wed 18-Jun-14 22:37:36

17 % ? That's very precise smile

TheNightIsDark Wed 18-Jun-14 22:38:48

I've just started this. It was half price in waterstones so thought I would give it a shot. Only a little way in though.

CoteDAzur Wed 18-Jun-14 22:39:20

That would be because she is reading it on a Kindle smile

80sMum Wed 18-Jun-14 22:39:55

I really enjoyed The Little Friend.
I keep meaning to read her other novels but never seem to get the time any more (spend too much time on here!).

BarbaraPalmer Wed 18-Jun-14 22:40:13

LOVED The Secret History - I re-read it annually

The Little Friend, on the other hand, got picked up and put down three or four times before I eventually waded through to the end. Dull as.

I have the Goldfinch on top of my nice little stack of new birthday books, and am nervous as to which one it will be most like.

AnyFucker Wed 18-Jun-14 22:40:35

Ah, a Kindle ? I have no awareness of such things. I still go to my local library and borrow books smile

Chopsypie Wed 18-Jun-14 22:40:42

I enjoyed the goldfinch but I thought it dragged on a bit towards the end. The Vegas bit in the middle is amazing

magimedi Wed 18-Jun-14 22:41:04

I've just finished The Goldfinch.

I cried - because I will never have the pleasure of reading that for the first time again.

Truly in the top 20 of books I have ever read.

Now I don't know what to read next (have read both her others).

AnyFucker Wed 18-Jun-14 22:41:49

I will get Secret History for me hols

zgaze Wed 18-Jun-14 22:43:20

I'm always so jealous of people who haven't read The Secret History, my favourite book ever. I'm another one who rereads it annually!

TheGirlOnTheLanding Wed 18-Jun-14 22:43:51

The little friend never quite took off for me, but loved the Goldfinch, one of the best things I've ever read.

I'm a bit scared to reread The Secret History, though. Loved it at the time, would hate to find it doesn't hold up now.

Can't wait for her next book in 2023 or thereabouts!

BelleOfTheBorstal Wed 18-Jun-14 22:45:37

I loved both The Secret History and The Little Friend. In fact, it is seven or eight years since I read The Little Friend, think I will give it a re-read and then move pointy The Goldfinch.

BelleOfTheBorstal Wed 18-Jun-14 22:46:17


LePamplemousse Wed 18-Jun-14 22:46:49

I really think The Goldfinch is a masterpiece.

AnyFucker Wed 18-Jun-14 22:51:36

As I was reading it sat in the garden this evening, it was a good job I had my sunglasses on as I kept having a little sob every so often smile

Desertrunner Wed 18-Jun-14 22:57:10

Loved loved the secret history. Need to go and dig it out so I can re-read it YET AGAIN. Have hardly any time to read these days and didn't know about The Goldfinch but will definitely give it a go if it's anywhere as good as The Secret History. The little friend - got bored, didn't finish it and left it behind in a hotel in Mexico (unimpressed).

Indeed i am reading it on my kindle. Will buy secret history for my hols.

As everyone says, you lucky lucky thing to have it in front of you! Secret History is top five of all time for me, read it in 90-something when it came out, read it again a few years ago, listened to the radio adaptation. I am kind of hooked! The Goldfinch is not far behind.

I thought Little Friend was fabulous..... until near the end when it slouched a bit for me.

I think how she writes so articulately that you can feel it and breathe it is sensational. In the drink/drugs induced stuff in Goldfinch, I felt like I'd had a skinful reading it, just conveyed the feeling of it so so well.

She writes so accurately, there is no muddling, each view point or sequence is exhaustively (but not excessively) described and revealed. She answers all your mental questions as you read, just as you are thinking "what is so and so going to do or think about that", you get it there for you.

Just hope we don't wait another ten years for her next one. I've read one in my 20's, my 30's and my 40's. PLEASE don't make me wait until I am 50 Donna!

applecharlotte Thu 19-Jun-14 13:26:38

The secret history is my fave book if all time, totally fantastic. Just about to finish The Goldfinch, not quite as good IMO but still great. I hope she has another one on the way...

They were planning on turning the secret history into a film about 15 years ago with Gwyneth Paltrow as Camilla but it never made it to production. I had no idea why,it would be a fantastic film.

WowOoo Thu 19-Jun-14 13:35:24

I tend to get rid of average to good books once I've read them.

Fantastic books I keep, but I have narrowed them down over the years.

On my 'keepers' bookshelf are Donna Tartt's first two. Must be due a re read soon. She's such an excellent writer.

I loved the Goldfinch also. Enjoy your wine, books and the sun!

JohnFarleysRuskin Thu 19-Jun-14 13:41:11

The Goldfinch is tremendous (although it lags towards the end)

The section in Las Vegas is magic, I think. She does character AND plot so well.

I had never heard of Fabritius or his paintings, it gave me a lot of pleasure to find out that all that part of the story was true!

(Tell me I'm not the only one who didn't know.)

mmack Thu 19-Jun-14 17:54:43

WowOoo, can you tell me some of your keepers? I've read through most of my amazon wish list and need some good books to look forward to.

WowOoo Fri 20-Jun-14 11:30:13

Sorry for hijack AnyFucker.

mmack a lot of my 'keepers' are crime/thrillers. Other than that there are loads of classics and other authors that I think will be classics one day.

I had a quick look and this is what I recall from 5 mins ago: Milan Kundera, George Orwell, Dostoyevsky and lots of other Russian, Japanese, French, Italian and Chinese lit, Arthur Conan Doyle, A.L Kennedy, Susan Sontag and Ian McKewan.

Saganoren Fri 20-Jun-14 11:35:36

I am distinctly meh about The Goldfinch. I dislike all the characters, especially the tedious Boris.

The Secret History I adored

Little Friend - not read but my Mum says is her masterpiece.

littlewoollypervert Fri 20-Jun-14 11:49:18

Oooh apple - The Secret History is my favorite "imaginary casting" book (and one of my favourite books in general) and I always imagined Gwynnie as Camilla!

Henry - maybe David Boreanz
Francis - the actor who played Rorschach in thingy.
The protagonist - there isn't really a physical description of him but I imagine Matthew Broderick in the part. Bunny would have been Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Julian - Dickie Attenborough
(the benefit of imaginary casting is that you can make them all the right age in your head).

Didn't like The Little Friend at all, but will give The Goldfinch a go.

littlewoollypervert Fri 20-Jun-14 11:50:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Fri 20-Jun-14 19:55:01

huh ?

SatansFurryJamHats Fri 20-Jun-14 20:06:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nerf Fri 20-Jun-14 20:16:05

Ooooooh just bought it in <whisper> Tesco. Was on a deal and I also got Linwood Barclay who is super speedy to whizz through but very samey. Shall do goldfinch first.

Hassled Fri 20-Jun-14 20:20:34

I was given The Goldfinch for Christmas, I think, and STILL haven't read it. I must get my act together - the size just makes it daunting. But The Secret History is brilliant, and I loved the Little Friend as well.

Hassled Fri 20-Jun-14 20:21:38

Oh Philip Seymour Hoffman as Bunny - that is inspired.

I see Camilla as a young Helena Bonham Carter.

Lurleene Fri 20-Jun-14 20:28:08

I finished The Goldfinch a month or so, and I still keep thinking about Theo.

I haven't read her other two and definitely want to, but I think I need to read some fluff before I can commit myself like that again!

Best1sWest Fri 20-Jun-14 20:48:06

I loved the first third of The Goldfinch, loved it but by the end I was really struggling.
Quite liked The Secret History but again failed to see what people raved about.

Llareggub Fri 20-Jun-14 20:54:17

I buy The Secret History for teens going off to university. I read it at 17, and pretty much every year since. Truly my favourite book.

I have The Goldfinch to read and will cry if it is as dull as The Little Friend.

hollycomputer Fri 20-Jun-14 21:00:26

The Secret History is my favourite book of all time. I've read it so many times and each time find some new angle or something I didn't quite pick up on before.

The Goldfinch is a lovely book, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I also enjoyed The Little Friend. The latter isn't generally as well-liked but I enjoyed its understatement.

BaconAndAvocado Fri 20-Jun-14 21:01:39

Ooohhhh the Secret History and the Goldfinch......

Both marvellous, marvellous books.

The Secret History is extremely marvellous.

The Goldfinch is an exquisite masterpiece.

Nessalina Fri 20-Jun-14 21:07:55

I tried The Little Friend first and couldn't even get halfway through it, but I thought I'd give The Goldfinch a go. Absolutely loved it! Theo is just such a completely real character, it's so well written. Wonderful!
Read The Secret History a couple of weeks ago, and that is also marvellous, though it didn't have the same emotional pull as The Goldfinch for me.

SaltySeaBird Fri 20-Jun-14 21:34:50

I've not read any of her books and I'm just about to finish one. Will get both The Secret History and The Goldfinch.

littlewoollypervert Sat 21-Jun-14 13:48:49

Realised I'd posted a bit of a spoiler so reported me own post , sorry about that! (Wasn't a huge one but it's such a good book I wouldn't like to spoil any of it for anyone)

7Days Sat 21-Jun-14 13:57:23

Oh, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Bunny - perfect

I kept closing The Little Friend and looking at the cover going Really? For about 5 years every time I went into my local wonderful second hand bookshop there was another copy of it on the shelf, and never The Secret History.

hollycomputer Sat 21-Jun-14 16:47:01

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Bunny would have worked about 25 years ago and before he died but iswym!

I always wanted The Secret History to be made into a film but was worried they'd fuck it up.

43percentburnt Sat 21-Jun-14 16:51:51

I too reread the secret history annually!

AnyFucker Sat 21-Jun-14 18:37:11

ahhh, woolly I thought it might have been summat seckshual what your name 'n' that smile

SongsAboutB Sat 21-Jun-14 18:47:00

I keep meaning to try The Secret History. The only one of hers that I've read is The Little Friend and it put me right off her. I couldn't believe the ending, it just stopped dead. I honestly thought that my book was misprinted and the last bit had been left off. A week or so after I had finished it I saw a woman on the tube finish it, and she did exactly what I had done. She made a hmm face and flicked back and forward through the end pages trying to find an ending.

BaconAndAvocado Sun 22-Jun-14 20:15:28

How bizarre 7days I've always thought PS Hoffman would have made an excellent Bunny!

Something tells me none of Tartt's books will be adapted to film. Think she would find that tacky!

7Days Mon 23-Jun-14 09:21:37

I wish I could take the credit for thinking of it BaconAndAvocado but was only responding to LittleWoollyPervert's post above.
He would have been excellent though, all that florid bonhomie covering up the anguish within.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 23-Jun-14 13:16:30


katsnmouse Mon 23-Jun-14 18:55:06

I was just thinking - why haven't I discovered her writing sooner? Bought The Goldfinch on a whim and am devouring it! First time since having my DD 7 months ago that I am truly engrossed in a novel. Looking forward to reading her other stuff, though judging by previous posts hope I am not disappointed.

Myfanwyprice Mon 23-Jun-14 19:01:52

It's funny because I really struggled with the goldfinch, loved the first third, then didn't really enjoy the next bit but enjoyed the end; but I keep finding myself thinking about it.

It was so so vivid, I find some scenes come into my mind quite often, it's so unusual for a book to stay with me like that!

ExcuseTypos Mon 23-Jun-14 20:49:19

I loved The Goldfinch though I agree that it flagged a bit towards the end. I'm going to order Secret History as I haven't read it yet.

I actually saw The Goldfinch picture, on the News on Friday. The art gallery in The Hague, which houses it, reopened last week. They also have The Girl With The Pearl Earring. They both looked amazing on TV so goodness knows how wonderful, they are in real life.

Postchildrenpregranny Mon 23-Jun-14 21:38:26

Agree Secret History was brilliant but gave up on Little Friend (rare for me) I am enjoying The GoldFinch especially as I got it for 99p on Kindle. I am a retired librarian and staunch supporter of local service but when a book is this long... Am recovering from a knee op. so a good chance to finish it Apparently the painting is on display in a newly restored gallery in The Hague (no, I didn't know it was 'real' either)

antimatter Tue 24-Jun-14 07:35:29

I am reading Goldfinch and listening at the same time - completely different experience each of mediums.

I agree that the descriptions of Las Vegas are amazing.

I need to read her other two books

The Goldfinch took 10 years to write...

smoothieooo Tue 24-Jun-14 10:25:19

I really liked Secret History but there was something about Little Friend that really stayed with me - certain scenes that for a long time afterwards I could visualise as though I'd watched them on screen. Amazingly vivid descriptions of the oppresive heat.

I've got a sample of The Goldfinch to read ... just need to set aside some time!

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