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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 23 September 2014
This book is both great and boring. Donna Tartt explores so many ideas in her book I admire her for her ambition. There is the question of time. What is permanent and immortal, the Goldfinch masterpiece vs a place like Las Vegas where everything is new and nothing lasts. Art and beauty and destiny. Theo's aching loneliness. Drug and alcohol addiction and the search for love. How to live our lives. The first and second chapters, when Theo is a boy and in Las Vegas are beautifully written and persuasive. Hobie is a wonderful character. The embodiment of goodness. I had trouble with Boris. I think he was credible as a character in Las Vegas chapter but not credible at all in the Amsterdam chapter. I found the last chapter incredibly boring and disconnected from the previous chapters. I skipped some pages. It was repetitive and confusing. But overall a good reading
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on 13 May 2017
Donna Tartt is a master at creating immersive, compelling worlds, and The Goldfinch is no different. It starts with a horrendous accident, one that kills young Theo's mother and leaves him in possession of something he really shouldn't have. The book follows him through his life - his friendship with a wealthy boy, his laconic years in the Las Vegas desert, and throughout, you're plagued by this sense that he's heading towards his doom. Perhaps he was doomed from the start.

This book is highly atmospheric and Tartt's descriptions (as ever) are so evocative. You can really picture the places she writes about; the dusty antiques store, the posh but inadequate home outside of Las Vegas...it's all very powerfully written. My only critique? It needed an edit. Towards the end, it starts to meander a little and I felt my interest waning.

However, overall, it's a glorious read!
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on 18 March 2017
Not my usual read, but I was attracted by the description on the back and wanted a good long read. Overall the story was good, although I did think parts of it were a bit drawn out. I almost gave up at one point, but stuck with it. The ending was a little predictable, but if you want a decent length book it is worth a read.
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on 6 April 2017
In my top ten ever best books. A must-read-and I've read it twice. I then went on to read all her others but this for me is her absolute best
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on 25 February 2017
I really like the beginning but then I was really getting turned down by all the drug use of these young teenagers.
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on 20 January 2014
It's a bit late but I've got this book on my mind and just have to write about it. Reading some of the less than enthusiastic reviews at a glance, I concede that this is not a book you're at all able to read in one sitting like you might plod through Crime and Punishment or the Harry Potter novels, which is why I'm writing and not reading through the final stretch. It is definitely something best taken in doses, but I believe this is due to the depth and complexity of the story and characters - it's difficult to build so rich a tapestry without having to shift focus and upon writing this I'm reminded of William Gibson, and how he slowly drives different plots together until they gain momentum and converge to form the components of a common conclusion.

In any case, I'd never expected to see talent like this in a modern writer. I've been up late in stints reading over the past week and though I could noodle on for a while, I think the most apt description is probably to compare her to other writers. To me, she is like Tolstoy, Burroughs, and (I want to say Christie, but I never read much of her... Sjowall & Wahloo aren't good comparisons either, but think of a good whodunit... and while she does play the long game, she also builds tension in playful flashes, conjuring expectation and changing pace to stroll along like nothing happened while you're on the edge of your seat) all rolled into one and there is also a parallel with Catcher in the Rye. I haven't read a novel in 5+ years, not for lack of trying, but this has pulled me out of stuffy foreign affairs and financial news back into my childhood with powerful nostalgia, cuddled in a dark corner of a boarding school library watching the snow fall and and reading for days, like there was nowhere else in the world I'd rather be.

Having never read her other works and knowing nothing about her either, to me this is a book lover's book. I'm likely projecting my nostalgia onto her because, while she definitely has a style of her own, it's like she's taken the best from the great writers of the past and weaved it together into a flexible and versatile new style... maybe this is an oversimplification but I believe that there is something for everyone here if they make the effort to dig in and I honestly feel a bit out-classed by the writing. While the novel is good, my greatest pleasure is the writing itself. For its own intrinsic virtue.
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on 28 January 2014
I very much enjoyed this novel. I prefer The Secret History and didn't much like The Little Friend. I did wonder how this was going to end and I deducted a start for the ending which was elegiac nonsense. But! It's over 700 pages and I read it eagerly every night so I it give it a try - highly recommended.
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on 20 March 2017
Found the storyline slow and uninspiring sadly, gave up half way through
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on 16 May 2017
Can't access "Archive", where this book might be. Consequently I HAVE NOT READ THIS.
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on 5 May 2015
I enjoyed this book but found parts of it too long and wanted the story to move along. It is a thought provoking story and gave no real end to wanting to know what happened to the other characters.
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