February 12, 2014

Recently Read - The Goldfinch

I just finished The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt.  It sounds like everybody I know is reading this book, and it is certainly making its rounds in blogland, so I thought I'd go ahead and throw out my opinion here.

It's a fascinating story, and the writing is gorgeous at times.  I am not one to highlight, but there were times I wish I had marked some of the more beautiful passages.  I felt for most of the characters, and I enjoyed the very descriptive writing.  Very different from other books I've read recently, where you get swept up in the story; this author is meticulous in setting up each scene, describing everything to the tiniest detail.  Sometimes, this is worthwhile, and other times, I wish she would just get on with it.

At almost 800 pages, it's simply too heavy-handed.  I feel like the story could've been told just as effectively and more enjoyably with about 200 fewer pages.  There were times I found myself skimming through some of the more descriptive paragraphs that did not advance the plot in any way.  But then I'd get caught up in a gorgeous, thoughtful sentence that would slow me back down.

"Isn't that the whole point of things--beautiful things--that they connect you to some larger beauty?"

Overall, it's wonderful.  But you have to work for it.

1 comment:

  1. I really loved Goldfinch but it took me a long time to finish it. I felt like I was skimming the Vegas section a bit. Overall great but not a lifelong favorite like Secret History.


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