The Goldfinch (24 of 50)

Nathanael Yellis By Nathanael Yellis • Last Updated May 18, 2021

Good authors are fun to read; great authors' words resonate for months.

Much of current good magazine writing is fun to read. The recently opened New Yorker archives prove that. However rarely does an article, though well-written and thoughtful, stick in my mind for more than a day or two.

Contrast that with Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath (review forthcoming): I still think about that book, especially related to the current immigration debate in the US.

Donna Tartt is consistently fun to read, whether in her first book, magazine writing (this quarter's Lapham's, anyone?), or her latest, Goldfinch. And I don't have a problem with being fun to read. But if you're going to be a Pulitzer prize winner, if you're going to write the books of our time, then you should stick in my memory. I should have to wrestle with your work, like I did with Life of Pi.

This book was really fun to read. I read two thirds of it in just a few days.

But then I forgot about it.

The last part was a slog.

I guess that its hype and prize-winning wrote a check that a thorough read couldn't cash.

The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Started really strong but ended a little less so. The fact that I kept calling it "sparrow or whatever" may be a sign that while stunningly written and thus a pleasure to read, the book didn't make a lasting or memorable impression.

And I should mention: if the narrator's mom is going to die a few pages in in a catastrophe that defines at least the first third of the book, there should be some kind of IRL trigger warning. Just saying, Andrew.

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