I really enjoyed the first two novels, the second leaving me more upset than I've ever been about a book...leaving me with so many unanswered questionI really enjoyed the first two novels, the second leaving me more upset than I've ever been about a book...leaving me with so many unanswered questions and plot twists so it was hard to follow alongside. I really enjoyed the creative imaginings of the author, but the protagonist is hard to like. It's one of those books that you're hoping the character grows and evolves as the story goes on but alas he doesn't...at least not yet. Three books in and he's still static and self absorbed so it's no wonder things go awry for him with no redemptive conclusions. I'm hoping this book gives out some solid answers for what went on in the previous book. So far I give it one star because Quentin is already getting annoyingly whiney. ...more
I absolutely loved it. It starts off with an introduction of The Illustrated Man and ends with the conclusion. (No Spoilers) Sandwiched in-between areI absolutely loved it. It starts off with an introduction of The Illustrated Man and ends with the conclusion. (No Spoilers) Sandwiched in-between are various short stories all stemming from the illustrations or tattoos he has all over his entire body. My fav of the stories are: The Veldt, The Long Rain, The Exiles, Marionettes, Inc., and of course The Illustrated Man. I found many of them very shocking although some panned out to be very predictable in their endings.fantastic read....more
I must say I'm very draw in by what he has to say about acting, actors and the industry and although it comes off as ramblings it's not in any way annI must say I'm very draw in by what he has to say about acting, actors and the industry and although it comes off as ramblings it's not in any way annoying. I find him to be very honest and most of what he says is strikingly compelling. It's an insight to the unseen and unspoken devils of every actors mundane lifestyle. The short stories are bluntly and simply told without too many descriptions meddling within them and some are quite shocking leaving lots of room for critique and passing judgement (on the narratives) James says he likes taking on roles that are simple and straightforward so he can act natural. He writes the same. I'm halfway through the book and I found it hard to put down in the beginning with his 'ramblings', but as I got to the short stories I started to question why some of them were even relevant. They're good short stories nonetheless. I'll probably finish it and then revisit a lot of what he wrote because I was so inspired and captivated by it....more
**spoiler alert** I'm half way through the book and its a fairly easy storyline but there's so many unnecessary dialogues strewn in-between the cascad**spoiler alert** I'm half way through the book and its a fairly easy storyline but there's so many unnecessary dialogues strewn in-between the cascading chain of events. The story is a Bildungsroman about Theo and his misfortunes of being an adolescent in an unfair world. He gets suspended from school and he's supposed to attend a meeting with the principal. While on the way, Theo and his mother have a hard time getting a cab, it's raining, his mother feels carsick so they get out of the cab and run for shelter from the rain. They apparently have some time to kill and instead of going out for breakfast they end up going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to quickly look at an exhibit his mother wants to see once more. While they're in the gallery Theo gets distracted from his mother rambling on and on about Rembrandt and a painting of a bird called "The Goldfinch" by another artist. He sees this red haired girl (Charlie brown reference?) with her grandfather and is fixated on her. He attempts to follow her but his mother wants him to come along with her into the next room, he refuses and tells her he'll meet up with her in the gift shop. Just as his mother walks off he searches for the red haired girl and all of a sudden a bomb goes off knocking him to the ground. When he comes to he's unhurt and fumbles around in the smoke and finds the grandfather of the red haired girl whom he finds out her name is Pippa. The grandfather talks to Theo and tells him to take the undamaged painting of The Goldfinch and keep it safe. He also gives him an address and a message before dying. Theo shoves the painting and the address into his backpack. Theo manages to walk out of the museum through a hole just big enough without being noticed because apparently there were no rescuers at the scene (only their equipment was left behind which he finds confusing) He finds out that they had to abandon the museum because another bomb was found and needed to be detonated. Theo tries to ask questions about what happened and only gets backlash from cops and firemen to stay back! Stay back! Theo manages to speak to a newbie cop who tells him the explosion was an act of terror from a certain group. Instead of waiting around for his mother to reappear he goes home and waits for her assuming she got out safe because she was in the other room away from where the bomb went off. Theo waits and waits and then finally he watches the news and calls a number a few times to ask if his mother had been seen around. At first he was told that her name wasn't on the list of the dead nor injured. Then he calls again and finds out that they found her body and she was indeed killed. Theo in in disbelief and speaks to several social workers who tell him he needs to go into foster care unless there's someone who's willing to take him in. His grandparents (fathers parents) were contacted but denied him, blaming they weren't physically well enough to care for him (bullshit or what?) Theo mentions an old close friend of his and they place him with the family for a short while. Theo visits the address the grandfather of the red haired girl gave him and finds out that it's her address. He meets a man named Hobie who is a caretaker of Pippa who was bedridden from the explosion with a head injury. Theo sees her and talks to her for a bit and then leaves visiting every so often to check in on her. Pippa soon gets well again and is sent to Texas to stay with family to improve her health as well as go to school. Out of the blue Theo's deadbeat alcoholic father comes to claim him with his trailer trash girlfriend Xandra. Theo then moves with them to Vegas and goes to a new school where he meets Boris a kid who's lived all over the world in his 15yrs and has read top literature yet is a drunk and gets beat up by his Russian dad. Theo and Boris are best buds because they have a lot in common (both of their fathers are abusive drunks) and do everything together, even experiment with drugs. Theo's father tries to change careers and needs startup money for it but he's broke so he tries to get Theo to call a lawyer to find a way to get money wired to him from his mothers and his joint account. Apparently his mother left him a substantial amount of cash and his dad wants it promising Theo he'd go to a prestige university after he makes all the money back of the investment in his new restaurant. Theo's dads plans fall through when Theo calls (after getting physically beat up to do so) and finds out that he can't receive any money unless it's wired directly to the private school of choice. His father gets pissed, gets in the car, goes to a bar and hits a wall killing him. Theo and Boris find out from Xandra that his dad is dead and Theo plans to run away back to New York. He steals money from an inebriated Xandra and catches a greyhound with his dad's dog. He makes it to New York where he encounters his old foster father who shuns him away. Theo then goes to Hobies and stays there with him and sees Pippa again (visiting for Thanksgiving-they've been writing letters to and fro while they were apart) Boris texts Theo about Xandra and other stupid things.(girls drugs and such) Xandra calls Theo to tell him she is having his dad cremated and asks where he is. Theo doesn't tell her but he leaves her a phone number to call in case social services or his school start questioning his whereabouts. Theo stays with Hobie even after Pippa leaves to go back to Texas saying she'll be back for Spring holiday.
This is how far I got 400+ pages and I still have another half of the book to go. I feel like there needs to be more talk about the painting he took and the mysterious things Pippas grandfather told him while in the gallery. I feel like the story isn't really going anywhere other than we're following Theo's adolescence. I've heard mixed reviews of this book and I can see why. The writing is too stringy and I found myself skimming a lot just to get to the point or the next big event. Some things don't add up, I found myself questioning the consistency of the setting and of some of the actions that take place. Some events are too coincidental and predictable. I'm waiting for a plot twist of some kind. I like the characters and the overall atmosphere of the novel, Great Expectations/ Oliver Twist Pauper Underdog theme. I just feel it's trying too hard and taking too long from the point of climax to reach the resolution. I'll finish it tomorrow and judge more then.
Okay so I finished the book, it was kind of a disappointment because it's a cop out of an ending and gets very predictable and the significance of the Goldfinch painting is not readily discussed other than its significance of being a theme of the story. A bird tied up who tries to fly away and never can break free from its restraints, it represents Theo's life. One can grow up and get away from the tragic events of their past but they won't ever fully forget what it was like. They'll always remember that hard time in their life even though they've grown to be a new other person. Tartt talks a lot about lost hopes and the realities and harshness of life. Life will always end in death but life won't always end happy. You get bits and pieces of Pippa and Theo's 'love story' throughout the book and... I don't want to give away the ending. ...more