Marsha asked:

Anyone think there may have been perhaps too many words in this book. Anyone like the hapless protagonist?

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Ferne E Campbell I'm always stunned by people who say there are just too many words in some books. Are they lazy? Jaded by the quick fix of tv pap? Did no one ever teach them about the beauty of words, the symphony of sentences? I wonder if they would think that the painting of the goldfinch had too many brush strokes.
Charlotte Knabel I'm about 1/3 through and feel it's already so bloated. The editor in me wants to slash her chapters in half. I'm in search of reasons why I should continue reading, because I do like the story and the characters. Just feel it's and exercise in overindulgence….
Cathy Sargent The audio version was well cast. The voices are still with me. I especially hear Theo's voice. Yes Theo was hapless yet there was something about his voice that made me think that he was a seeker: He kept asking himself why his heart sought destruction? "People who get punched in the face by the 800 pound gorilla of addiction and live to tell about are truly remarkable human beings" 800 pages matches the 800 pound gorilla.
Alison I see many people thought it was too 'wordy', but I think that is what made the book so beautiful, at least to me. Some people skimmed, I think they missed a lot by doing that, again that is just me. Not sure that I liked Theo as much as felt sorry for him...he lost so much in his life at such a critical age.
Jennifer Many of the sentences were just loaded with description, almost to the point of run-on. The parts where Theo describes being high (and there are a lot of them) are repetitive. The same adjectives, imagery, phrases used over and over. So no, not "lazy", just ready to finish the book already and move on to another in my stack. Life is short and I don't want to spend a month of mine on one book.
Hilary Donovan Most books have a few too many words for me! There are just many topics I have little interest in. For example, I was bored when we had to hear all about Theo's dad's gambling--his strategies--the odds, blah, blah, blah. Some of the details of the art smuggling were a few too many for me and way too many characters in the underworld. I didn't care about this part much at all. So, yes, lots of boring words for me.

Yes, I loved the "hapless protagonist" because I think you have to have great empathy for a teenager losing his mother in such tragic circumstances. I can't even imagine it. Theo didn't have a chance to mature for a long while because he'd lost the only person he'd ever loved.and was burdened with a useless dad.
Charlene It was one of those books that make me think the editors are cowed by the author's popularity and don't dare criticize. It was ridiculously long with far too much detail that didn't further the plot. How many years was Theo in Vegas? That's how long it felt like it took me to read that part. How many days was he in the hotel in Amsterdam? Did we have to know every detail of every hour? No. We did not. A good editing would have made this such a better book.
Claudia Yes. I read the whole thing and was disappointed in the end. I don't get the author's point.
L. Dawson I loved this book, although I kept wanting to slap Theo into doing the right thing just once in his life. I get that he was so traumatized that he couldn't but after years pass? Really? I kept thinking of ways for him to get out of his mess, but getting wasted with loser Boris wasn't one of them.
Anne Saturley I liked Theo very much. For most of the novel, he is a teenager, and Tartt draws his character at this age quite realistically. Also, he is obviously having to spend his life coping with a major trauma (which most people escape), yet he is able to reach out to characters like Boris, who can't always have been that easy to love! A wonderful novel! Have to admit as a huge fan of CD that the "Dickensian" label nudged me to buy the book, but ultimately whether it's Dickensian or not does not matter.
Judith I am reading the book right now and I am at the point where Theo is taken to Andy's house and I keep wondering when is anyone going to notice he stinks like blood and dust and his clothes are sodden--that's a huge oversight--your right too many words and not the right ones--I don't know if I will finish the book.
Betsy Murphy yes and chapters too because I skipped some because it got to be long winded . and I still got the plot . Also was pissed that he went back to Boris !!!
Susan Frankly, I do. Tartt tends to repeat things. Yes, we know it's bleak and lonely to see Christmas decorations when you're not in a festive mood, but we got it the first time. We don't need to hear it 20 more.
Amanda Kent Question 1: Answer: No
Question 2: Answer: Yes

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