Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

"Days ran changelessly in the seasonless glare: hungover mornings on the school bus and our backs raw and pink from falling asleep by the pool, the gasoline reek of vodka and Popper's constant smell of wet dog and chlorine, Boris teaching me to count, ask directions, offer a drink in Russian, just as patiently as he'd taught me to swear."

Initially I was counting down for the release of Donna Tartt's latest work, but when it arrived I was slightly intimidated by the sheer size of the tome. Don't be put off, fellow readers, this is a gem that you will devour with relish, well I did in any case.

I feel like its best not to give too much away about the plot. The journey from innocent child  exposed to tragic circumstances to troubled teen and eventually troubled adult is an addictive one with some truely memorable characters.

Tragedy, tragedy, drama, tragedy, this novel is action packed and kept me reading well into the wee hours.
There were some odd aspects, for example the first person narrative meant that I didn't recognise the narrator was male for the first chapter or so. If I was to recount the actual action of the novel, it  might appear a little over the top, but it is so brilliantly realised that you don't even question until well after the final page.

5 out of 5 missing artworks are for the birds.


  1. I think you are one of the few bloggers I've come across who really enjoyed this book. Because of all the quotes I've read, it is obvious that the writing is excellent, so I wonder whether the general disappointment has to do with the differences between this and The Secret History. What do you think?

  2. I think perhaps you've hit the nail on the head. People expecting a carbon copy of her previous work will be disappointed. Fortunately there has been a lot of water under the bridge since The Secret History was published and for me its a distant, but enjoyable memory. Approaching this as something new certainly lifted any weight of comparison, because it is an entirely different beast.