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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why the controversy?
Coming a bit late to the party here, I read the novel aware of most of the views expressed, and the deep divisions between reviewers--the majority hailing it as a masterpiece, while a few dissenters slam it. Far be it from me to challenge the professionals, but I think the qualities and faults are pretty clear. No-one surely can deny the charm of Tartt's style, or her...
Published 3 months ago by M. READ

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written very depressing
The Secret History was so beautifully written that I read slowly in order to prolong it. Donna Tart just writes so fantastically well that I started the Goldfinch thinking I was in for another tremendous treat.
However, now that I am in three quarters of the way through I find I just cannot read anymore. Almost all the characters are just horrible apart from Hobie...
Published 2 months ago by owlet


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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 12 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Kindle Edition)
Fantastic Book - beautifully written and a great story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Nov 2014
This review is from: The Goldfinch (Paperback)
You can understand how it won a Booker Prize. Fabulous
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 25 Oct 2014
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J. Keefe "Jackie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Kindle Edition)
Thoroughly wonderful Donna Tart - quirky and gripping.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed it., 26 Sep 2014
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John Charles Harris "Badger" (Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Kindle Edition)
Dickensian in its epic sweep. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seriously flawed, 24 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Hardcover)
This would not be Donna Tartt if it did not have some seriously powerful passages, and it does. Also, I read the first 200 pages in about three days, which was extremely promising. But... oh dear.
So, here are my gripes.
One: A novel is a novel, not a philosophical treatise. If it has a message, this should emerge from the narration and the descriptions. It should not take the form of turgid monologues tacked on to the end. Here we have not one, but two (and they are pretty trite messages at that).
Two: There is a sort of crime writing where at the end we have 'the explanation', for example by the detective (Poirot did it a lot). This was necessary because the plot was so artificially complicated that it needed to be set out in a way the baffled reader could understand. I thought we had grown out of this sort of thing, at least in novels that claimed some literary merit. But here it rears its ugly head again. And it is compounded here because we have a first person narrator who is not present at the denouement. It therefore has to be explained in this old-fashioned way to him (and to us).
Three: Tartt's first (and best) novel, The Secret History, was set in a small, somewhat rarefied private university, a milieu I imagine she knows well. Her second, The Little Friend, was set in the rural Deep South, where she grew up. I imagine she knows that well enough too. But is the genteel Ms Tartt really at home in the world of the eastern European mafia? Is any of this credible at all? And by the by: in the whole of Jane Austen, there is not a single passage where two men have a conversation at which no woman is present. Jane A. was modest enough to realize that she could not know how men spoke to each other in private. But Ms Tartt is quite happy to fill up a good half of this book with dialogue between two adolescent boys (not always the same two). How does she know how adolescent boys talk in private?
Four: The action of the book takes place over a period of about 12 years, though it is not made clear which 12 years. The only date mentioned, I think, is 1985, which, it is implied, was before the birth of the narrator, who is in his mid-twenties at the end. So let us place the action circa 2002-2013. A lot happened in the world during this period, but none of it happened in the book. The characters grow older, some of them die, but the outside world stands still.
Five: It may seem pedantic to mention this blunder, but it is not, as the outcome would necessarily have been different otherwise: you do not, repeat not, need a passport to get from Amsterdam to Paris by train.
Advice: if by page 206 you wonder if it's worth continuing, I'd say probably not. And if you get to page 695, write your own ending. It couldn't be worse than what we have.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't want to come to the end, 27 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Goldfinch (Kindle Edition)
So full of details about everything. I can visualise people and places and feel all the emotions. The actual story is fascinating and original. But so embedded in recent 'events' that it is entirely believable. The wealth of detail could make it a slow read, but there is so much happening that I can't put it down.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 20 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Kindle Edition)
Repeats herself and drags on hard to keep a interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it., 14 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Hardcover)
A masterpiece! The backdrop to my summer. I loved it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 28 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Kindle Edition)
Very good but the last section gets a little tedious
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Oct 2014
This review is from: The Goldfinch (Paperback)
Spell-binding. Couldn't put it down. What a talent.
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The Goldfinch
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Paperback - 5 Jun 2014)
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