Reviews tagging 'Murder'

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

64 reviews

franzis's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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thecourtofreading's review against another edition

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dark mysterious sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

finally finished this behemoth of a book. like, this took me way too long to finish. and i adore Donna Tartt. the secret history defined an era of my life for me. but the goldfinch. as much as i liked it, this book dragged on for WAY too long. like there were times where stuff could just be described simply and easily instead of flowery and over the top.

i liked the premise of this book, but the blurb made it seem more interesting than it actually was. it made it seem like Theo stole the painting, and then got pulled into an underworld where he then stole more paintings and ran from the cops. what this really was about was a traumatised boy, who never really found anyone who fully cared from him, did drugs, did alcohol, who clung to a painting that he associated with his recently deceased mother. Theo was exhausting to read about after a while, which is why it took me so long to finish because it was just his internal monologue and his thoughts. the paragraphs were so CHUNKY at times as well it kind of gave me a headache to read. it could've done with a lot being cut out and chopped down, but this is not me saying Donna Tartt is a bad author. she is phenomenal and continues to be phenomenal. i think i much preferred the secret history more, and that will always be my favourite.

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sadaf's review

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dark reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

In London, desperate for new “study abroad” friends, I made a coffee date with a Russian girl who was in one of my linguistics classes. She always had beautiful manicures, one time a Mondrian (another Dutchman), which had set us off on the topic of art history, and prompted us to pursue a friendship after.
The date was torturous, however: a never-ending debate, including a point at which she insisted that English girls were too soft, Russian women understood that catcalls were simply compliments. She told me about various horrible tales of her family, what they suffered and how they were happier for it, unlike the traumatized youth of today. It was an unpleasant ordeal that went on for two hours. At the end of it she smiled and hugged me excitedly, saying it was the most fun she’d had talking to someone in ages, that we must do it again. Thankfully, we didn’t. I remain flummoxed, though Boris was something like a cipher. 
Near the end, I feel the writing got muddled and began executing my least favorite method of “generating Meaningfulness”, which was lists, lists, lists. Enough. I get it. Life is a confusing torrent of unconnected moments… or something. I preferred her crystal clear observations with a deftly placed low-frequency lexical item. 

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noahh's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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tuesdaydg's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious sad tense slow-paced

2.0

There is no doubt that The Goldfinch is a thoroughly well-crafted novel. Is it incredibly long? Yes. Is it incredibly slow? Yes. Is the protagonist/narrator insufferable and infuriating? Yes. Yet, I can’t really seem to fault the novel for these elements. There is nothing wrong with a long, slow book with morally questionable characters. What I can fault it for, though, is my own personal experience spending time with the story and existing in the protagonist’s head. So, did I enjoy this novel? No, not really. I attribute this to an amalgamation of factors, from my own personal tastes to false expectations to the feelings Theo’s narrative elicited from me as I read (or listened, rather). I think I expected the “stolen artwork” theme to contribute a sense of adventure or even a fun thrill that would linger on each page. Instead, this theme creates a constant sense of dread and overwhelming stress which exudes from the pages. This, in combination with Theo’s
Spoiler severe addiction to drugs and alcohol
, made my reading experience quite unpleasant. I have to commend the author for her ability to bring out such emotion, but I felt the the constant weight of this combination of elements seemed to become exhausting, so that the trudge through felt daunting rather than exciting.

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lindsaylhunter's review against another edition

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adventurous dark reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

First half was on the right track to being better than the Secret History, but I was willing the book to be over by chapter nine. The author has a beautiful writing style but, in terms of the length of her novels, has no idea that less is nearly always more.

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emmawoodhouse's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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kers_tin's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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bloodredscar832's review

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dark emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

~ 3.75 - 4.00 ~

In the end, I don’t quite know how to describe my experience reading this book and my thoughts afterwords. I enjoyed the book well enough, but I especially liked the writing style - I really need to look into more of Donna Tartt’s works, her writing style is so descriptive and flowy and beautiful; I really like it. The characters were all interesting in their own ways (I particularly liked Hobie, Boris, and the Barbour’s, Mrs. Barbour specifically) and I enjoyed all of Theo’s interactions with each character. I think that this is definitely a story that needed to be told, and one that will stick with readers for a long time - whether good or bad.

For negatives, I believe that the book was much too long. My version had 771 pages, and it was an absolute pain to get through. I thought it was pretty impressive that the author was able to have subplots in the middle and keep the book interesting. As I realized later, the way she wrote the middle and the subplots she included actually made the middle of the book read as being rather plain and I had to drag myself through by sitting down and forcing myself to read. I felt that the last 200 or 300 pages were disconnected from the book - like I was reading a completely separate book. It was especially hard to get through that section for some reason, probably because I didn’t care much for the situation or many of the random side characters. It seemed that I was just getting a bunch of names thrown at me and I didn’t really bother trying to remember who was who. Plus, the last 50 pages were strange compared to the rest of the book and didn’t really add anything, although I did enjoy the writing and the philosophical speech, however, it didn’t really fit with the work in my opinion. Almost like Donna Tartt was getting tired of writing and just threw something on there at the end - the ending to me, simply, felt unsatisfying and the book felt incomplete.

All-in-all, definitely a book I’m glad I read (I mean, the writing style alone was just incredible for me, mwah)! The book drew me in with the interesting plot line and kept me hooked with these side characters that were far more interesting than Theo. I don’t necessarily know if it’s a book I would read again, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The words and characters that I’ve read in this book over the past two months have definitely left a lasting impression, and I think that you should (at-least) give the book a shot!

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misterorms's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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