Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Truly Great Book -- The Goldfinch

As a bibliophile, I have read many books. Some I sped through and couldn't tell you anything about them now. Others were like a bad job -- I forced myself through them. And finally, there are books that stick with me forever, the ones that capture me and make me actually feel for the characters, the ones that make me cry, and the ones that I will read again. One of these is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

What makes this book a great one? If you were buying it by the pound, you'd get your money's worth: it's a hefty 755 pages. There are not many likable characters in the book. The main character, Theodore Decker, isn't likable, even to himself. But the writing in this book is magnificent. The author amazes me with her way of telling her story. She leaves nothing out. Her descriptions of even the smallest event or scene astound me. It's a book that makes me feel dumb because I have to look up the definitions of many words but finishing it makes me feel proud. Oh, it also won a Pulitzer Prize this week, so other people must think it's great, too.

I will admit that I had to take a two-week break from reading it. I was troubled because Theo just couldn't get a break; everyone/everything seemed to be against him. His mother is killed in a terrorist bombing, his absent father returns to take him to Las Vegas where he has to fend for himself, and many more discouraging events that made me actually worry about him. I figured something good had to start happening or no one would read this huge book. I was right, and I was totally satisfied with how it ends.

If you want a challenging book that will teach you about art, drugs, antiques, and the meaning of life, read The Goldfinch. Truly, it is remarkable.