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Ellinor's Litventures

This blog is about my literary adventures in different genres. I like variety in my reading and will read books from most genres but particulary book with some literary merit.

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch was my first novel by Donna Tartt. After having read so many positive reviews my expecations were very high. After having finished the book I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed and don't really know how to rate this book.

I don't think I have to say much about the plot as that has been done very frequently: The Goldfinch tells the story of Theo Decker, who's life changes after his mother is killed in an assault at a New York museum. In the chaos following the assault, Theo steals the painting "The Goldfinch" from the museum. From then on his whole life centers around this painting.

At the beginning I really enjoyed the book: Donna Tartt uses great descriptions and I could really feel with Theo. But then I had a lot of questions which were never answered: Who was responsible for the assault and what was the aim of it? Were the assassins ever identified and caught? That the assault didn't play any further role apart from causing Theo's struggles and enabling him to steal the painting was one of the things that bothered me most.

Another thing that annoyed me was the current mentioning of iphones and Apple. What was the reason for that? I know that this is narrow-minded but it was one of the things that spoilt the book for me.

Something else I found strange was that when in Amsterdam Theo needed a passport to buy a train-ticket. Never in my whole life have I needed a passport when buying a train ticket to travel around Europe. And if they don't sell you a ticket at the counter why don't you just use a ticket machine?

The one thing that really spoilt the book for me was the prologue: you actually know from page 1 that something goes wrong in Amsterdam. So why the prologue? Why spoil everything?

One of the very few things that still made me partially enjoy the novel was Boris. He reminded me so much of Tschick in the novel of the same name. Boris is very unconventional and even though he drags Theo into the drug- and crime-scene he is still a great guy.

Even though this book wasn't the best I ever read, I'm still curious of Donna Tartt's two other books. I'm having high hopes for The Secret History and hope I won't be disappointed again.