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Dec. 6th, 2014

So, I finished reading Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. Gripping, that's for sure. Donna Tartt is a great writer, and her prose is very vivid and image-dense. Which is both good and bad. You see the New York she is talking about, the Las Vegas, the houses at Desert End Road. You see the characters, often grotesque, always expressive. However, you also get to be dragged through addiction and misery and post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, addiction being the most painful to witness. Those things are also described very vividly, but they are bleak and dreary in themselves, and one gets tired. (Or maybe they just take up up too many pages out of the total of over 700?) Yes, they lead up to the message you get in the last few pages, except I'm not particularly convinced.

Did I like the novel? Oh yes, I did. Especially the first third. In a way, The Goldfinch is an odd kind of a fairy tale, a fairy tale pretending to be a complex, realistic... reverse detective story? The plot and the characters, however, don't let it get entirely out of the realm of the fantastic. Which is all right. This was an interesting journey to have been on.

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
any_ti
Dec. 7th, 2014 09:48 am (UTC)
ну вот) я уже немного читаю на английском)) интересно же, о чем ты пишешь :)
be_unafraid
Dec. 9th, 2014 04:13 am (UTC)
:D
Да, что-то я увлеклась английским...
psicheya
Dec. 7th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
I was very impressed by the book, but it was kind of depressing how damaged
Theo was. I loved the first part, his mother, Hobie and Pippa, but the Las Vegas part was kind of repulsive, and the whole action thriller part in Amsterdam I didn't care much about.
be_unafraid
Dec. 9th, 2014 04:23 am (UTC)
I also loved the first part about Theo's life with his mother, about Hobie and Pippa. I think I'd very much like Donna Tartt's stories of mundane things: she can make them magical. Not that she would actually write anything like that without having it packaged with everything else :)

Somewhat surprisingly, I didn't find the Las Vegas part repulsive; it's not pleasant, but oh, it's set so well in the middle of that stillness, with such a contrast between what Theo and Boris (and the others around them) are up to and the desert, the overwhelming expanse of the sky.

After he came back to New York, however, I mostly just wanted the book to be over already. A bit too much of a thriller: that's a long time to be held both sad, and in suspense.

Certainly an impressive book, though. :)
psicheya
Dec. 9th, 2014 11:22 pm (UTC)
I also read her Secret History, and I think there are some similarities between the two books. This one also starts in a lovely setting - a group of (mostly) brilliant, (mostly) beautiful students of Classics studying in a small group under a genius professor, with the protagonist getting to belong to that circle. And then it all gets pretty ugly and nasty, human nature being what it is - a fall from Eden type of story, kind of like Goldfinch is.

Check it out, you might like it (or at least the first part).
be_unafraid
Dec. 19th, 2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Yep, it's in my shortlist, or rather in one of the three piles of books that are my shortlist at the moment :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )