Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

*Contains no spoilers*

This was a true sky-scraper of a novel. A sweeping epic in the grandest sense that could be compared to Swann’s Way by Proust or even a Dickensian tale like Oliver Twist. The Goldfinch has all of the hallmarks of one of these epic novels because it involves a believable modern-day premise, believable characters and a emotional bare-bones rawness that really lacks from a lot of novels.

Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I can’t really go into the details of the narrative without ruining the entire thing, except to say that this is a novel to read if you haven’t read something great in a while or if you desire simply wallowing in a book for a good solid few days. It’s a long brick of a book at over 800 pages but each page is easily accounted for and necessary.

Theo Decker is a damaged, stubborn, precocious and entirely believable protagonist as are all of the characters and the various American settings where they roam around. They all glitter and dance off the page with the feather-light and yet powerful skill of Donna Tartt, who is a consummate storyteller. This novel is exhilerating and heartbreaking, infact it’s so amazing that it will rip your heart out and won’t allow you to forget it for the rest of your life.

Donna Tartt has written only a handful of books in her writing life and yet she seems to pour every ounce of herself into them. The Secret History was an explosive book and really intellectual and stylish. The Goldfinch is different and in a way more ambitious than her two previous novels because it traverses many worlds (read many socio-economical backgrounds), many ways of seeing reality, life and death. It has been over a decade in the making and it was worth the wait. It’s a post 9-11 bildungsroman about being a young person in a confusing and terrifying age. She really pulls it off.

I can’t explain more without giving it away but if you would like to read it…I can send it to you. Past attempts at giving away my books have been met with no real takers. But if you want The Goldfinch I have one copy – a once-read almost new copy to give away. So please write in the comments below and I’ll get your address for sending the book to you via post.

Read more (including perhaps some spoilers)

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

18 thoughts on “Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

    1. Hi Janet thank you for stopping by to visit sweetie. Yes I know what you mean, the language is truly something unique, especially her nuanced description of art and the character development is pretty deep as well. I honestly couldn’t find fault with it. About reading on a tablet, I haven’t brought myself to do this properly yet with a whole book, I find it doesn’t feel the same as escaping into a physical book. Which do you prefer of the two and why?


      1. I use my kindle/table because I am travelling around so much and it means that I don’t have to pack or carry heavy books, but you are so right, there is nothing quite like a real book. Have a wonderful week. Janet.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Saw this post from a couple of years ago just below today review — just chiming in to say how much I loved it too. What a book. Astonishing writing, fiction at its very best. Loved A secret history too. Got A little friend on my kindle at the moment — it’s about third in line! Did you read it?


    1. I know right! this is an incredible book right up there with some of the best fiction ever written! I’m so glad you loved it too, I loved the Secret History just as much. The Little Friend, it was pretty good but not as good as the other two, but still very enjoyable, what do you think of The Little Friend?


      1. Ah think I got the posts mixed when asking for clarification just now on your recent review! No haven’t started the little friend but have it waiting to go. Was thinking with her other two masterpieces that it should at the very least be decent but you never hear anything about it.


      2. Ah yeah sorry this is my fault. I was pretty tired yesterday 😊. There are parallels between Donna Tartt’s books paricularly The Secret History and Burial Rites, in that they are both taut thrillers and really good, but thematically very different. Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace is very similar to Burial Rites in the themes and story too…I think you would also enjoy Alias Grace too. The Little Friend I read this one, if you haven’t started it I wouldn’t, it’s not as good as Tartt’s other great books, it sort of gets lost in the middle, it’s ok though.


      3. Right understood. Thanks for the clarification. I think I’ll still try ‘the little friend’, I bought it after all. But I may abandon if the going gets rough. I’ve added the other two to my list. Cheers


      4. Ahhh if only I was yet to read it too! WHAT A BOOK!!! I’ve read it twice and counting down the days where I can read it again without remembering too much. I would be absolutely flabbergasted if you didn’t love it. I know I recommended A gentleman in moscow, which you didn’t get on with — but this one should be much more in your wheelhouse!


      5. That good? wow I am so excited to read it now too, the library is shut but hopefully will reopen during level 2.


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