File Size: 4360 KB
Print Length: 760 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 22, 2013)
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
The particular answer with THE GOLDFINCH is "Yes! " and "Sorta! "
To myself, the book is split into sections or novellas--the explosion, living with the wealthy family, moving to Vegas, etc.
The excellent opening section immediately held me engaged--I think the explosion and Theo's experience and recovery is among the best writing I've read in years.
The family this individual moves in with may remind you of THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS or Salinger's Glass family. These are funny, somewhat tragic and sort of odd. The dad especially--something about his habits seemed somewhat "off" as did his wild conversation; it didn't seem at all "real" in a novel that's very grounded in reality. (It's revealed later why he reacts this way. )
The particular next--and for me, best novella--takes place in Las Vegas where we "live" with Theo's father and girlfriend. The writing is vivid, the characters and plot really move along and it's all terrific.
And then, for myself, THE GOLDFINCH seems to stall somewhat and somewhat loses its way. This painting that Theo bears with him appears to be forgotten about and then every 100 pages roughly is mentioned again (not that we care. )
There are a novella about dealing in art (collection and deception) and our hero takes a downward turn, but I found myself shedding interest and by webpage 600 was growing rapide for it to conclusion... or for the plot to kick in again as it did in the first few sections.
The advantage of this book is that you can set it aside for a few days and pick it up again and not be "lost"--the writing and characters are that strong. The "plot" on the other hand generally seems to grow thinner and less crucial as you head down the last 200 plus web pages as "big issues" are thoughtfully woven in.
I'm sure this will get many 4 and 5 star ratings, but I'm giving it a very good solid 3 since, unfortunately, it seemed to run out of gas in the direction of the end. But those first 600 web pages -- great, great things!, The thought of working a story around an actual master work of paining is not a new idea, but a very good one. It interested me enough to look up the painting on the Internet, and copy off said copy on watercolor paper and it is now displayed on our piano.
Well written, but somewhat long. Concerning the story, I actually kept hoping the major personage would get his work together long before this individual did., This is a refreshingly different work of fiction involving orphans and art work, terrorism and antiques, Las Vegas low-lifes and NY society types, loves on many levels and high stakes criminal offense both foreign and home-based. Everything fits together nicely and plausibly, for the most part, with a morally satisfying ending. That is the 4 star part.
It's missing one star because I was at first put off and never at all engaged when I first began to read it. It started with a disjointed segment from what was the end of the story. I'm guessing that the intent was to pull you in to learn what was going on. I acquired the book a couple of months later and got past my preliminary bewilderment to the true start of the story which demonstrated to be quite interesting. An 800+ page guide has got to be engaging if it is to be read. With that being said, I thought that there were a few segments that were much lengthier and repetitive than they needed to be, particularly the Las Vegas period of time and the closing. I came across myself thinking " I get it already, let's move on".
I would highly recommend this book as it is well written, engaging and satisfyingly different., I really enjoyed this book. I see why the book. received the Pulitzer. The creator has a great way of telling you about her characters. They start to feel familiar, like people you've seen about town. I felt like I actually wanted to step in and protect Theo, get him back on track, especially during the years after his tragic loss. Frequently , I was frustrated by his choices. I highly recommend this book., I had been so eager to read this book, but I actually was disappointed in the long run. I actually was glad to attain the finish. I kept needing to take out my red editing pen and reducing some of the excessively long parts, particularly the shows with his " best friend" Boris, who quite frankly spoke at boring duration taking pages to get to his point. I actually thought the plot was good, a bomb established off in a art gallery with a boy taking a painting his mommy -- who dies in the explosion -- reverred. But this is actually the story of a boy/man struggling all of his life -- he and his mommy were on the way to his school for a disciplinary talk with the headmaster -- redirected to the museum to kill time before the school appointment. They never get there, but after the bomb the boy is in one predicament after another -- his father comes to claim him, he loves Pippa but doesn't end up with her, this individual falsely sells furniture as rare antiques, and uses drugs, drugs and more drugs. I did like discussion posts about art and art, and particularly like the place where Hobie speaks about how precisely one particular painting means different things to each individual. This end of the story was so phony. Boris finds out The Goldfinch painting in a European apartment that has a trove of stolen art and will get a huge reward he shares with Theo. This relives Theo of the weighty issue of getting the painting he stole years before back to the museum. From the start, I was the one with the condition reading this book. I did not realize until the end that this was Theo's diary, so this stream of consciousness writing made sense, but it was still too damned long.
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