The Goldfinch is a relatively new book and seems to have been a really popular book on reading lists in 2013. It one the Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year.
Before I get into the story I'll mention that the narrator, David Pittu, did an outstanding job narrating this book.
Here's the publisher's summary of the novel:
Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and at the center of a narrowing, ever-more-dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
I so wanted to love this book. The story is intriguing and there are so many possibilities. Unfortunately it just ended up being ridiculous. The author can't have spent too much time with teenagers or, for that matter, remember how own teen years. This teen is a complete screw up and yet shows flashes of brilliance and introspection that you would only find in someone with cast life experiences.
Here's the review that I left on Audible:
I really enjoyed the narration and would listen to another David Pittu book in a heartbeat. I'm not so sure about another book by this author.
Would you be willing to try another book from Donna Tartt? Why or why not?
I so wanted to love this book especially give the glowing reviews but it just wasn't to be. I don't have a problem with characters with drug problems or other serious character flaws but don't try to make them also portray characteristics beyond any possible capability of such a person. She made the 13 year old Theo, who can barely put one foot in front of the other, into someone with the introspection of someone who has lived a long hard life. He's way too immature for that. At times the character is so stoned that he can barely talk and yet he's able to function in school and at home. There's no way that this character made it to adulthood with the drugs he took and the way he stumbled through decision in his life. Also, the dog lived an unbelievably long time. The book just got way out of hand. It needed some serious editing.
What does David Pittu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The narrator is excellent and is what kept me in the book to the end. He has an ability to put you right in the moment with the character even when the moment is absurd.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
The book has a good premise and a movie screenwriter could make a great movie from it. Screenwriters know how to edit to get the essence of the story. This is one time that I think the movie would be a huge improvement on the book.
My advice to you is to wait for the movie!