La Reyne 's Reviews > The Little Friend

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
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's review
Jan 30, 2012

really liked it

How to define this novel.

I had a dekko at a few reviews to see the responses of other people, and the broad consensus appears to be a lot of frustration and confusion!

It's a book that leads to no pat ending or conclusion. Yet the getting to that - point? - is so rich and worthwhile. We are trained from our first reading experiences to expect beginning, middle and end. We need the payoff. The money shot, if you must...and this book does lead you to think that the reader will be rewarded for their perseverance. But there is no release! Another reviewer called it a cocktease.


Was that the author's intention from the beginning? Having also read The Secret History, Tartt does seems to be a writer who wants to conceal as much as to reveal. Both novels gave me difficulty in understanding what her motivation was at all to labour over such lengthy works, to no apparent purpose.

The best analysis I can give is to suggest that this is essentially a mood-piece. The reward is in the journey, not in arriving. As someone who's practised yoga for long enough, I get that approach... Try to enjoy it for that, not for any sort of climax!! Whether you will get your reading satisfaction from it is highly debatable!
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Linda Bass Wonder if anyone ever referred to Faulkner's writing as a "cocktease"?

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