The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

donna-tartt-the-goldfinch-book-coveri2escaledI don’t always read the “most popular” books that all of my friends are reading. For example, I still haven’t read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (though it is on my to-read list!). I know what I like (historical fiction and science fiction), and I – more or less – stick to it. Plus, I definitely learned my lesson after being coerced into reading 50 Shades of Grey by E L James by one of my friends.

Never. Again.

Well, never say never, I suppose.

After basically everybody from my trusted coworkers to my mother recommended The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt to me, I decided that I absolutely had to see what all of the fuss was about.

Before I delve any deeper into this post, I have to admit that I really just don’t know how I felt about The Goldfinch. I honestly don’t. The first hundred and fifty pages (ish) and the last seventy pages (ish) contained some of the best (and most beautiful) writing I’ve ever read. Ever. However, the middle five hundred and fifty or so pages were pretty much the bane of my existence for a solid month. On the sliding scale of my mental bookshelf, ranging from negative ten to positive ten (with negative ten being hatred, positive ten being complete and utter adoration), The Goldfinch scored a net zero.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – at its core – is not really about an art heist, as I was led to believe. It’s really about one man – Theo Decker – and his struggle with devastating loss, his resulting depression, and his subsequent choices of coping mechanisms (a lovely cocktail of various narcotics, cocaine, and alcohol). The novel is centered around a series of really bad life decisions which would make any Jewish mother cringe. Seriously. Even I was often horrified by Theo’s actions and inner monologues… but I do admit that the book was, overall, very, very well written.

But if you want my opinion (and you’re reading my blog so let’s just go ahead and assume you do), just read the first hundred and fifty pages and call it a day.

Have you read The Golfinch by Donna Tartt yet? What did you think about it?