The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0349139636 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingengelsmanwing of Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on 4/29/2017
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingengelsmanwing from Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, April 29, 2017
Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and an absent father, miraculously survives a catastrophe that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is take in but the family of a wealthy friend. Theo is tormented by longing for his mother and down the years he clings to the the thing that reminds him of her: a small, captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

The book starts with a page and a half describing Theo holed up in a hotel room in Amsterdam trawling through the papers for news about his "predicament". The local papers talks of an "onopgeloste moord", and "een amerikaan met een strafblad", but if you don't speak Dutch then you might miss the significance -- and unsolved murder and an American with a criminal record. How exactly do these fit with Theo's predicament?

And after that tease, you're taken back to Theo's childhood in New York. He has been suspended from school, possibly about to be expelled, and he and his mother stop off at the museum to kill some time before a meeting at school. Theo is separated from his mother, and sees an old man, a young girl, and the painting. And then something vague and unexplained hits and life changes for Theo. He's taken in initially by a privileged family, but doesn't quite fit, and then whisked away to Las Vegas where he falls in with another lost soul and as young teenagers they survive in a blur of substance abuse on the fringes of society. Then events come crashing in and he is catapulted into a new life in New York. All the time you are wondering how it can all lead to a hotel room in Amsterdam...

I liked the story, and how it drew you in, and kept turning the page to find out where Theo would go next, and would have marked it higher except for the fact that Theo and Boris are so "in tune" that they know what the other is thinking and therefore never finish sentences and the narrative becomes a sort of rambling stream of consciousness representing Theo's grief and guilt confused state of mind.

I didn't realise until near the end that "The Goldfinch" is a real painting...

Journal Entry 2 by wingengelsmanwing at Bioscoop Trianon in Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, April 13, 2019

Released 1 mo ago (4/13/2019 UTC) at Bioscoop Trianon in Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands


transferred from Kapper Eric's to a table in the Trianon foyer

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