Well, I’d been waiting for this book to come out for a long long time! (By the way, my wife told me I should not do tha...more****Note: Contains Spoilers****
Well, I’d been waiting for this book to come out for a long long time! (By the way, my wife told me I should not do that with books. ”She can write the book when she wants to write it!” she said, when I told her it had been over ten years since the release of Tartt’s last novel. She has a point. Still, I wish Donna Tartt would write more books! She has said that she only has five or six books in her, and so far her books have come out about once a decade. The Goldfinch is her third, and it was worth waiting for!
The story of a thirteen-year-old boy, Theo, who loses his mother in an explosion plotted by terrorists when the two of them are touring the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City, is on one level a rumination on fate and free will. Theo and his mother are separated at the time of the attack, and he meets a senior who passes one of the most valuable paintings in the world along to Theo, urging him to take it out of the museum, which Theo does. What ensues is a spiraling account of the next 15 years or so of Theo’s life: how Child Protective Services locates his estranged father and has Theo move to Las Vegas to live with him and his girlfriend; how he meets Boris, one of the most interesting characters in literature–a Russian-cum-Australian ruffian–and the two become fast friends, smoking pot, sniffing glue, and drinking copious quantities of beer and vodka; how he falls in love with Pippa, the niece of the man who gave Theo the painting; and how Theo and Boris get involved with a ring of criminals who deal with paintings such as Theo’s on the black market.
Tartt is of the Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis school of literature; that is to say, her central characters are young, smart, well read (there is a plethora of literary references throughout The Goldfinch, delightfully) and socially savvy, and the ones in The Goldfinch and her first novel, The Secret History, also indulge in a lot of drinking–and, in The Goldfinch, drug use. Theo’s feelings for Pippa echo Pip’s utterly determined love for Estella in Dickens’s Great Expectations and make for some of the book’s best material. All in all this is a classic; I think Tartt is one of the authors of today who people will remember hundreds of years from now.
This book is, well, um, AWESOME!! One of the best I've ever read, for sure. If you like science fiction, this book is a must-re...more***CONTAINS SPOILERS***
This book is, well, um, AWESOME!! One of the best I've ever read, for sure. If you like science fiction, this book is a must-read. Without giving too much of the book away, it is the story of a future earth where an alien species, whose members look like silver furry centipedes--but bigger than centipedes, they would fill the palm of your hand if you held them--invades earth. Once they get to earth they kill almost all of the humans on the planet. Each alien is then inserted into the body of a human, hence the title of the book: after insertion, each alien then has a "host" body.
Earth is not the only planet they take over, either; they have taken over several other planets. Life carries on for the aliens in their host bodies in much the same way as humans conduct their lives today. However, a small group of humans has survived. They stay alive by raiding the houses of the aliens for food and supplies. although they grow some of their own food of their own in their hidden network of underground caves in the desert.
There is a doctor among the humans, and all of the humans are hopeful that he can figure out how to remove the aliens from the bodies of humans and bring the humans back afterward; that way they can reclaim the human race on earth and vanquish the aliens. Concerning the writing, Meyer has such a gift of creating characters that you want to get to know and spend time with. Also, her settings have plenty of description and are written in such a way that they give you the feeling that you're right there with the characters.(less)