There’s so much out there already about The Goldfinch (and a lot of it much more smartly written than I can hope to achieve) that I am actually a little intimidated to voice my opinion. However, I’ve just spent something like 4 or 5 weeks listening only to this novel so there’s really nothing else I can tell you about.
And, on the off chance that you haven’t heard about Tartt’s latest novel, I really want to tell you about it. First, there have been a lot of complaints about the length of this novel and a number of cracks about the editor not doing his/her job. I will say that when you consider whether to read a book that is nearly 800 pages, you need to be prepared to commit yourself, to commit the time it might take you to get through two or three other books. But I will tell you that I am truly glad that I did make that commitment to The Goldfinch.
I was gripped from the start, and found myself early on thinking, “Now this is good literature!” My wavering faith in living writers who can craft poetic, thought-provoking works was renewed almost immediately. I wasn’t bothered by length; in fact, this is one of only two books I’ve read anytime recently that I couldn’t wait to get back to (the other was The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker). What The Goldfinch has to say about love, friendship, tragedy and the timelessness of art is truly beautiful and I know I will continue to think about this novel for some time to come.
The characters are richly drawn. I already miss Theo, and while I was doubtful that there are teenagers out there as sensitive and articulate as he, I certainly hope that there could be. And, as many of the reviewers have remarked, you must read The Goldfinch if for no other reason than to meet Boris.
I did not attempt to read this novel with all of its Russian and smartly discussed art-and-antique world jargon, but instead listened to the absolutely mesmerizing audio version performed by David Pittu (available for digital download through Overdrive or on CD in the Library’s collection). Give it a read! I’m new to Tartt’s novels so I’m off to find The Secret History next!