Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Year in Books-The Goldfinch: June's book

 The Year in Books
The Goldfinch was all the rage last year. It seemed like it was on everyone's must read list. It won the Pulitzer Prize. From the little I read I thought it might be in the "something horrific happens and how do we go on with the rest of our lives" genre. I generally avoid this genre. I spend far too much time thinking "What if (fill in awfulness here) happens". Reading is my anodyne to the stress of my mind and life.

I avoided the book until I saw it at the library. My initial impression was correct; it is horrific event fiction. In fact, it is one long series of horrible happenings.  However, the writing is engaging and Tartt creates a terrific sense of place.

I hung on until the middle when the main character's constant musings finally made my eyes glaze. Then I skimmed.  More bad things happen and much musing about those bad things. The character concludes that life is a pit but maybe a thing of beauty can sustain you.

Gee, thanks. I feel much better. Pass me the vodka.

And why did Boris, who spent a good part of his formative years in the U.S., still, as an adult, speak English with a bad Hollywood Russian accent? Just because he was Badenov's namesake doesn't mean he couldn't master syntax.

Overall I didn't like the book. Some parts are memorable but the main character isn't as interesting as those surrounding him.

For July I am reading Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser. "Hilariously funny" says the N.Y. Times Book Review. We shall see.

Book count so far: 59.


  1. I too kept seeing this one on lots of blogs and it seemed to be very much a Marmite book. I had it on my wish list for a while but as most of the reviews were against rather than for I decided to delete it and go for something a little more interesting. think I may be just behind you on the book count at around 51 or 52 books so far this year. I like to keep a tally if only to see the reaction of my son when I tell him how many I have read over the last year when he reads may 1-4 in any 12 month period.

    1. Sometimes I am suspicious if books are too popular. I am intrigued by the term Marmite book. What does it mean?