My thoughts on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished The Goldfinch. As a writer I don’t feel qualified to review a masterpiece. Tartt has written something akin to Tolstoy in its immensity, range and beauty. So this is an appreciation.
I read reviews of this book that were critical of its length and her long rambling descriptions and internal dialog. These are, in fact, the blood of the story, the reason for its power. Theo is telling his story and it includes his fear, wonder and transformation in a way that feels real. I won’t go into the plot except to say this: If I ever meet Ms Tartt I have the same question I ask myself and every other writer. Did this unfold of its own or was it planned and plotted? I believe it was the former, in part because the writers I truly admire are all ‘pantsers’ not plotters. They write from the seat of their pants- Murakami, Ondaatje, Durrell…all say they started with an image, a line, a title.
Regardless of the answer to this question, The Goldfinch is easily one of the best stories I’ve ever read and I’ve read thousands.

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