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The Goldfinch
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Archive: Other Books > The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt- 3 Stars

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message 1: by Joi (last edited Oct 11, 2016 04:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3782 comments No way was I going to finish the audio before the 2013 tag was up!

I wavered between three and four stars for this one, and ended on three stars because of the ending. I think I have a strange love/hate relationship with this book. I always looked forward to listening to the audio (all 32 hours of it), I loved the writing, but I just didn't really like how the novel progressed. It's weird, I enjoyed everything that was happening for the first 5/6 of the novel, but it was slowgoing. I wouldn't suggest this to many people I know, but I'm really happy I read it.

The novel follows Theo Decker from a young 13 year old to a 20-something. It starts great, with a climactic terrorist attack in an art museum that kills Theo's mom. He is stuck trying to survive and figure out what makes him happy, who makes him happy, and how to live his life without his main support system. The overlying plot driver is a stolen painting from the art museum, and how the painting effects him as a person, his life choices, and the morals of stealing and returning it. A true coming of age story. With some mystery elements entwined.

The writing is great. I gave A Secret History 5 stars, and despite me not loving this I plan on reading anything else Donna Tartt has written and will write in the future. She is long-winded, but in a beautiful way. Her descriptions are great, truly sets a scene. Her similes on descriptions are fabulous. I often found myself giggling about how perfect she can describe something using one simile. The characters are well developed, and really make you want to root for someone, feel pity, real emotion, and connect with the characters.

But that ending!!! BOO HISS. I loved the beginning, Hobie, Andy, Mrs. Barbour. I loved the Las Vegas part- Boris is hilarious. I was happy to be back in New York exploring again. Then they went to Amsterdam and everything fell apart. The entire tone of the Amsterdam part was different then the rest of the novel. It's almost a separate entity, it felt different, it was more action packed, but in a ridiculous sort of way. I could almost forgive this and still give it 4 stars. But then the final ending bit. WTF. Tartt just took all the themes, symbols, motifs in the novel- and over explained them in a weird trippy haze. I'm not stupid, I figured out those symbols and themes, and what they represented myself- I didn't need you to spell it out for me. It got super philosophical and weird- which didn't seem like Theo, or match the rest of the novel. It was a fish out of water. If I could un-read the ending it would have been a 4-star read.

Also- side note the audio for this was FABULOUS. So many character voices, all recognizable. Kudos! Also, apparently this is set to be a movie? I'm not sure it would translate well to a movie. They're going to action-ize it, and it won't have the same meaning or feel as the novel did.

message 2: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen | 1545 comments That's pretty similar to how I felt about it. I think I gave it 3.5 but the audio was fantastic

Susie | 4488 comments As you know Joi I have recently changed my star rating to a five. I just can't get it out of my head! How great was the audio? He was amazing! So believable. I loved it. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it as much in written form.

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1952 comments I listened to the audio and really enjoyed it that way. My f2f bookclub read it and there were some who liked it and some who didn't.

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I loved this book, I still think about it daily. The writing was superb and the characters are unforgettable (unlike the ones from The Secret History - I could not tell you one of their names). while I didn't love the ending I thought it probably had to end that way. I whispersynched the book and loved the audio- but I also liked reading it just to read certain passages over, that's how much I loved the writing.

Anita Pomerantz | 6276 comments Joi wrote: "No way was I going to finish the audio before the 2013 tag was up!

I wavered between three and four stars for this one, and ended on three stars because of the ending. I think I have a strange lov..."

As you know because I've already expressed it, we are on the exact same page with this one . . .beautifully written, but thought the ending really hurt my overall rating. Disliked the Amsterdam part very much . . .and it didn't get better from there for me.

Kristina (kristinaknyc) The ending is something that left me perplexed too. I felt lost in Amsterdam. I enjoyed this book so much until the last 20 percent of the book. I don't understand what happened at the end, it was such a long and wonderfully crafted, beautifully written book and the ending just doesn't match, it's driving me crazy!
I also agree about the audio-Superb!

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