Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - Book Review

After seeing the hype and anticipation about Donna Tartt's long awaited (after 11 years since her last book!) 3rd novel, I was excited yet anxious about picking it up. My god, the front cover is beautiful.

At 700 pages it has to be the longest, and most drawn out, book I have ever conquered and I was very pleased with myself when I had completed it.

With such high expectations and praise created with the book's launch I was expecting to be taken on an exciting thrill ride that would enthral the senses. Unfortunately I was left bored and frustrated.

I gave the book 3/5 stars.

The book had a great plot. Teenage boy is involved in terrorist attack in NYC, his mum dies. He acquires/steals a very famous and expensive painting from the bomb site and his life is changed forever. His life spirals out of control, with drug/alcohol abuse and the criminal underworld just around the corner. With such an intriguing story I expected much more than what I read. I wanted more action, more suspense. All I found was drab, unbelievable twists that were more like a damp squib than a firework.

The main characters became increasingly annoying and very unlikeable. Where at first you feel sympathy for Theo, by the end you just want him to get what he deserves.
The story was full, I mean pages full!, of descriptions of meaningless items and settings. Although you can obviously see a reference and homage to Dickens, this incessant babbling made it such a chore to read. The book could easily have been cut down by 300 words, at least.

This story could have been fantastic, heck it could have been a classic, but I feel that the editor did not really do his/her job properly. Most reviews seem to be popular, so maybe I am in a very small minority who just didn't "get it".

I may return to the book in the future, as I feel it does have more to give.
Have any of you guys read The Goldfinch?
Does your views mirror mine, or were you completely mesmerised by Tartt's work?

Would love to hear your views.


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