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The Goldfinch

(60 Posts)
AnonYonimousBird Wed 23-Oct-13 20:14:21

I couldn't resist. June is too long to wait for the paperback. This should not be read on a Kindle, so.... copy arrives tomorrow.

kerala Sun 01-Dec-13 07:25:17

Dh got me the hardback for my birthday. Had only read one review in guadian which was negative so nearly returned it. Thankfully I didn't as is brilliant think reviewing journo jealous!

littleomar Tue 03-Dec-13 11:01:04

Just finished and loved it. That Guardian review was very peculiar.

hackmum Fri 06-Dec-13 17:52:13

I loved it too. A wonderfully rich, complex, multi-layered book. Was completely absorbed in its world - not many books can do that. My only gripe would be that the last gangsterish part (don't want to give too much away) was a change in tone from the rest of it, and didn't quite work for me.

It really made me dislike Julie Myerson even more than I did already. Her Observer review was so shallow and point-missing that I can only assume she wrote it out of jealousy.

LCHammer Sat 07-Dec-13 13:07:01

I hadn't read the review in The Guardian. Any other new book out at the moment as well written?

hackmum Sun 08-Dec-13 10:32:53

LCHammer - I've got The Luminaries waiting for me on my Kindle, which is apparently a very good read, so I'll let you know my verdict when I've finished that! In the meantime, I've been recommending Longbourn by Jo Baker to all and sundry - a beautifully-written book that recounts the Pride and Prejudice story from the servants' viewpoint. It hasn't received nearly as many plaudits as it deserves, in my view.

BTW, there are two reviews of The Goldfinch on the Guardian site - one is a highly favourable one by Kamila Shamsie; the other is Julie Myerson's hatchet job, which was written for The Observer. I really can't see what motivated Myerson to write such a churlish piece. It's as if she'd read a completely different book.

LCHammer Sun 08-Dec-13 10:46:21

Thank you for the recommendations. Something for Xmas, I'll give DH a hint.

LCHammer Sat 14-Dec-13 14:18:28

I've pre-ordered Longbourn in paperback. The Luminaries is still only in hardcover and just too difficult to carry around so I'll wait on it.

PepeLePew Sat 14-Dec-13 14:34:35

I've nearly finished it and have loved it. Possibly even more so than The Secret History - which I loved when I first read it at university. But I re-read it recently and although it is still a gripping read I found the characters tiresome and Julian almost unbearable (which may perhaps be the point but he was so very irritating second time round). Whereas The Goldfinch feels much more the work of an older writer with more life experience and empathy. The first half is almost unbearably sad - not just the accident but the aftermath and Theo's stay in Las Vegas.

I will be bereft when I finish it - just hope the ending doesn't let me down!

WipsGlitter Tue 31-Dec-13 15:57:53

I've just finished this. I enjoyed it and was thinking about it when I wasn't reading it, but... I found it to be a bit of a mish-mash of coming of age novel, crime caper and antiques roadshow show off of how much research the author had done.

It needed edited as well. Too long. Skipped the psycho babble at the end.

LCHammer Wed 01-Jan-14 08:55:07

WipsGlitter - yes! I agree with you.

Best1sWest Wed 01-Jan-14 19:10:10

Just finished it too. Loved the first two thirds but thought it went a bit downhill towards the end. I got a bit lost (which means I will have to re-read it).

Cocolepew Wed 01-Jan-14 19:13:08

The Goldfinch is £1.99 on the Kindle atm.

BsshBossh Wed 01-Jan-14 19:22:41

I got the hardback for Christmas but kept wanting to read it in the middle of the night so ended up downloading it on my Kindle Paperwhite! Such an absorbing story and absolutely cannot be rushed because every sentence is exquisite. I loved Secret History and was bored by Little Friend, but this one stands up, in my humble opinion, as a classic of modern literature.

Caitlin17 Thu 02-Jan-14 02:06:47

Just finished it.Bored, bored, bored and very irritated by it. So glad I only spent £1.99 on it as a Kindle deal of the day.

Extremely annoyed that bloody Julie Myerson might actually not for once be wrong.

My goodness that is a book in need of an editor and some realistic characters.

HopeForTheBest Thu 02-Jan-14 16:05:52

I'm about 1/3 of the way through (also on Kindle) and seriously considering giving up as I hate it so much.

Agree with Caitlin17, it's boring and seriously in need of an editor - there is so much waffling on about nothing at all. And it seems to be a mix of styles as if it was actually supposed to be a number of different novels that have been squashed into one.

I loved The Secret History so much, but didn't really get on with The Little Friend. I suspect that for me, at least, Donna Tartt is something of a one-hit wonder sad

bishbashboosh Thu 02-Jan-14 16:30:03

This is next in my list after The Little Friend! Can't wait ....

Cantdothisagain Sat 11-Jan-14 08:35:16

I've just finished the Goldfinch. I agree with the pp who said that it reads as a more mature work than The Secret History and the characters work well. But it was utterly marred for me by the sheer length - it really really needed editing. I found myself skim reading.

PeasandCucumbers Sat 11-Jan-14 10:02:22

I also finished this last night. I really enjoyed it but agree with those who say it is too long, the story could definitely be told in a lot less pages!! I was hoping that it wouldn't have a really weak ending as that irritates me so much and I was not disappointed, I really liked the ending

Belize Tue 14-Jan-14 09:26:50

God I loved it, pretty much every single paragraph, sentence and word were just exquisitely crafted. Donna Tartt you are a fabulous writer!

Bereft now that I've finished it, didn't even notice really that it was 700 odd pages long.

The only bit I didn't enjoy quite so much was the gangsa bit, but the rest of it was pure joy.

I keep flitting in my mind between New York, Las Vegas and Amsterdam - she paints such a vivid picture of each place. As for the characters, just adored Hobie and Popchik!!!!

Wonderful, please don't keep us waiting for another decade though for your next book!

Belize Tue 14-Jan-14 09:28:48

gangsta even!

SicknSpan Thu 23-Jan-14 11:47:40

Just finished it. Glad i read it, and loved the characters but it seemed to be a giant exercise in showing off how good she is at making beautiful stand alone paragraphs. So often I found myself realising I was reading, instead of being drawn into that "fictive dream" where you don't know you're reading a book, you're just in the story itself.

The beautifully poetic paragraphs that it is littered with are just fantastic though. Some of the first half of the book seeped into my brain and I would think of Theo in particular all the time. I agree with the previous poster who said this felt like a future literary classic.

Ultimately though I was really cross with him for making poor choices as an adult, even though I felt such desperate sadness for him as a young man/teen. He was always a victim and didn't fight this which made me crosser and crosser as I neared the end of the book! I kept hoping that he would change, that this would be the action that I felt was missing (even though lots went on, for me there was always something just round the corner which never materialised).

Am glad I don't have to read it anymore as no matter how delicious the writing, I resent how unfulfilled I feel after 3 weeks of my life spent reading it!

Stokey Thu 23-Jan-14 13:57:40

Amazingly written as others have said and I kind of liked the philosophical bit at the end.

But found it hard to like Theo, particularly in the second half of the book after he leaves Las Vegas. Just wanted to shake him as you say Sicknspan

And a little too long and Dickensian for my taste, I feel like I've been reading it forever.

lottieandmia Thu 03-Apr-14 21:27:39

This book had me in tears at certain points, particularly when he sees his mother in a dream having chased after her for so long. So sad, especially that he blamed himself for her death as a child.

SnotandBothered Tue 29-Apr-14 13:28:01

Bumping this thread as I've just finished it.

I loved it and found some of the descriptive scenes the most evocative I have read. Theo's perception of the aftermath of the bomb in the gallery made me feel that I was there.

I thought Boris was actually beautifully written as well. Brash, yes human/insightful and believable - also very Russian in his manner/thought patterns and beliefs. I 'liked' him better than Theo and was always glad to see his name on the page.

SnotandBothered Tue 29-Apr-14 13:28:59

Lottieandmia that was the one point that i actually cried. I wasn't really expecting too but his joy/relief at seeing his mother in the mirror made me lose it too. sad

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