I was in the book section of Costco when a stranger put this book in my hands and said, “This is the best book you will ever read.” I politely acknowledged her enthusiasm and put the book down. She followed me along the book display and repeated, “No really, this is a GREAT book.” Who stalks people in Costco because they are so excited about a book? I was curious. So I bought The Goldfinch.
170 pages in – I was captivated and slightly overwhelmed by the dismal experiences; nevertheless, the writing was exquisite.
771 pages done – I was extremely irritated by the author, the characters and the final resolution. I was left with one question, “Where the hell was the editor?” While reading the book the editor forgot to EDIT the parts that are not essential to the plot and development of the characters.
This book is like sitting down to a decadent dinner for two and being served a feast for 20. For those who like to gorge on words, this is your book. For those who appreciate the brilliance of brevity, by page 771 you will be jaded by the unlikelihood of Boris’ “faithful dog-like” character, very annoyed by the laboured monologue at the end – no longer in the voice of Theo and bewildered by the lack of influence of Theo’s true love – Pippa.
If I see my book stalker in Costco again I will say, “Spectacular writing – abominable editing.”