Dorian Thornley's Reviews > The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
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really liked it

The really interesting thing about this book is how divided the reviews are, many people were bored to tears and could barely get through it and then just as many couldn't put it down. The question seems to be, can a middlebrow book be a great book? I like middlebrow books. I stalled out on Ulysses, I stalled out on Ada, Anna K, Moby D, Bros K, and fully expect to fail at Middlemarch. James and Woolf I do like though but with most five star classics I'm like, 'please get to the f**king point' (obviously I'm missing the point) and interestingly that seems to be the main gripe about this book, which for me was a propulsive read. So huh, go figure there. Highbrow is a slog for me but also I couldn't make it through a Koontz, Connally, Patterson or Brown either. No, they read like treatments to me. So I'm 'lit light' and cool with it.

I think that people who read 'the cannon' serious readers, really feel like they've been jipped with the Goldfinch, sold a false bill of goods, feel that it's childish, long winded,obvious, hackneyed, well maybe so and you could say the same about dickens but Bleak House IS a great book and so is Great Expectations which echoes all the way through the Goldfinch. It's an entertainment, sure. But there was some really lovely prose and it was packed with ideas, aphorisms and observations about, you know, life and stuff. I guess if, like me you fall in the middle of the spectrum, you'll like it a lot, it could be the greatest middlebrow novel sine Bonfire of the Vanities. Plus you'll learn a lot about rich people and furniture. Four and a half stars, yes, you could see the canvas in places but come on, it's almost 800 pages. No this book is not going to spearhead a renaissance in serious literature but neither will anything else.
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Reading Progress

January 24, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 24, 2014 – Shelved
January 8, 2015 – Started Reading
February 10, 2015 – Finished Reading

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