Advanced search

The Goldfinch - lost my mojo and not sure whether to carry on

(33 Posts)
theforceawakens Thu 28-May-15 09:00:25

I'm up to page 473.

I loved the book until Theo arrived back in New York. Now I'm bored with furniture restoration and descriptions of varnish smells.

Is it worth carrying on or should I just give up? I haven't picked it up in four weeks and need to know whether to consign to the shelf of books I'll never finish or dust it off and give it another crack. smile

lalalonglegs Thu 28-May-15 09:24:38

Ha ha, I don't remember that section being characterised by the smell of varnish (but I've just read Knausgaard's My Struggle which is 500 pages describing over and over again how he makes hot drinks...).

I loved The Goldfinch so this is an unapologetic directive to keep reading. Theo's relationships definitely get more interesting in NY and his bond with Hobie undoes some of the damage inflicted by his own parents (loss of and neglect). It also shows you that he is a pretty morally ambiguous hero (although I still rooted for him all the way through) and makes some terrible decisions - greed? Stupidity? Lack of moral compass?

I will concede the final 100 pages or so are a bit silly but I loved the rest so much I was prepared to forgive.

theforceawakens Thu 28-May-15 09:44:32

Thanks lala.

I shall have another crack tonight.

I've seen some people say they haven't liked any of the characters but I really like Theo. And I loved Boris so hoping he returns.

Thanks for the pep talk! smile

Costacoffeeplease Thu 28-May-15 09:45:52

I found the Vegas bit the hardest so I'd say keep going, you're over the worst now smile

southeastdweller Thu 28-May-15 18:44:54

Lots of people on here struggled with the Vegas segment, but personally I loved everything about The Goldfinch. Hope you finish it smile

theforceawakens Thu 28-May-15 19:00:37

I loved the Vegas section! Think that may be the issue...its seems a little dull now we are back to furniture and varnish smells! Preferred his complex relationship with Boris.

Stoneysilence Thu 28-May-15 19:23:04

It gets better...stick with. I can't say much for the final 20 pages but it's an amazing story

stardusty5 Thu 28-May-15 19:29:08

Another who gave up in Vegas!

MuttonCadet Thu 28-May-15 19:31:39

I gave up a bit later on, I honestly thought it was one of the dullest books I've ever read (and I've read a lot).

Lilipot15 Thu 28-May-15 19:37:04

I stopped reading it when he was in Vegas too! Can't see myself getting back into it either.

IndridCold Thu 28-May-15 19:49:22

I'm sure I read somewhere that this was the most-abandoned book on Kindle, and that put me off reading it for quite a while. When I did finally get around to reading it, I was surprised, because I loved it and was gripped all the way through.

In short, keep going!

theforceawakens Thu 28-May-15 20:04:20

I'm feeling a bit reluctant as people seem pretty split between not getting on at all and abandoning or loving it from start to finish. I am far from loving it. I'll give it one more go on the basis of this thread!

lalalonglegs Thu 28-May-15 20:11:55

I loved the bleakness and aimlessness of the Vegas section too, his spectacular fuck-up of a dad and his marvellously charmless stepmother but <whispers> if it makes you feel better, maybe you should know that Theo hasn't seen the last of Boris... wink

theforceawakens Thu 28-May-15 20:12:32


Thank you thank you thank you.

I'm back on it. grin grin grin

BaconAndAvocado Thu 28-May-15 20:23:00

Please persevere, I adored this book, there's a reason it won the Pulitzer Prize!

zingally Fri 29-May-15 14:32:38

I was always told, "don't be afraid to put down a book you don't love. Life is too short to plow on with books that don't bring you joy."

For that reason, I've just abandoned book 2 in the 'Divergent' series.

MrsRebeccaDanvers Sun 31-May-15 10:37:45

Agree that the Vegas section is the hardest to get through. Keep going!

southeastdweller Sun 31-May-15 10:59:44

How're you getting on, OP?

BitOfFun Sun 31-May-15 11:02:30

I adored all of it. Even while the Vegas bit drags, it's because it reflects their situation. Honestly, there isn't a wasted word.

VixxFace Sun 31-May-15 11:09:04

I loved the first half. half Didn't finish it so no idea what happened. IT became dull

hackmum Sun 31-May-15 11:25:31

I loved The Goldfinch. I would keep going.

lalalonglegs: How much of My Struggle did you read? I read volume one, and that was enough for me - not sure I can be bothered with the rest. As you say, there was an awful lot of "I poured a coffee", "I drank a coffee", "I put my coffee down and lit a cigarette" type of writing.

MsUumellmahaye Sun 31-May-15 11:30:06

I gave up sad

theforceawakens Sun 31-May-15 12:04:05

southeastdweller I think I've given up. I've got no motivation for it at the moment so have started another book. Maybe I'll return to it one day....sad

lalalonglegs Sun 31-May-15 12:24:48

hackmum - I read A Death in the Family in its entirety and was very, very underwhelmed. I got really fed up with the perfectly described, minutely detailed recollections of events that didn't lead anywhere at all (did you get as far as the NYE party and the endless description of hiding and then collecting bottles of beer and which bus Karl Ove caught and who he saw that evening which all fizzled out to... nothing?) The good thing about it was that I could read it almost like background noise - as there were no real drama or narrative arc, I just let my eyes move over the page taking in about a quarter of what was going on and not feeling that I was missing anything at all (except yet more descriptions of how he tamped coffee granules down in the cafetiere or which particular cleaning product he used to sort out his father's bathroom...)

theforce - but Boris, think of Boris.

hackmum Sun 31-May-15 14:49:06

lalalonglegs: yes, A Death in the Family is the one I read (sorry, couldn't remember its name). It was just as you describe it, though I did dutifully plough on to the end even through all that bloody tedium about the bottles of beer.

I wouldn't say I hated it, but I couldn't quite see what the fuss was about. A lot of the reviewers praised the attention to minute detail, but it seemed to me that all that stuff about which coffee he drank and how he made it must have been made up rather than remembered - because who on earth remembers whether they were drinking a coffee or not at key periods of their life? I have vivid memories of my own father's death, but none of them is related to what I had to eat or drink or which cleaning products I used to clean his house afterwards.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: