A review by e_reader
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

adventurous mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


This book was okay. Good, even. But it wasn’t great, and for a book to be THIS long, it needs to be great. I’m glad to have read it, but I wouldn’t read it again and wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to someone else. 

Some entire chapters could have stood to be shorter, or cut out entirely. I didn’t mind the part in Vegas, because it sets up the rest of the book. I just think the whole book should have been a lot shorter. 

The scene in Amsterdam was also a bit confusing—although possibly intentionally so? No doubt, Donna Tartt is a genius. Her descriptions are so incredibly beautiful, and she has the ability to craft such a complex plot with apparent ease. But this book still doesn’t top The Secret History. Maybe because the characters just weren’t as compelling. For example, the time skips were confusing to me because Theo’s narration style didn’t change, and he didn’t *feel* significantly older. I did find Boris interesting as a character though. 

Also, there was the incredible amount of time spent covering Theo’s increasingly concerning drug problems. As one reviewer put it, “is there anything more boring than reading about someone else’s drug habit?” It was important for the plot, I’ll give you that. But man do we spend a lot of time just reading Theo’s narration of the many drugs he tries, starting at age 12? 13?

Donna Tartt’s writing style uses first person, which I particularly enjoy, but can be off putting if you aren’t a fan of that. Overall, maybe worth the read if you are a big fan of Donna Tartt. Otherwise, save yourself the time and read something else. 

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