The Goldfinch July 17 2014, 0 Comments
"We have art in order not to die from the truth."
There are books inside which I have wanted to live. "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay". "The Alexandria Quartet". "The Great Gatsby". "Under The Volcano". "Dalva". "The Adventures of Augie March". "Belle du Seigneur".
There are characters who are more real to me than many real-life people. Josef Kavalier. Jay Gatsby. Isabel Archer. Frank Bascombe. Tereza. Geoffrey Firmin. Jane Eyre.
They live and speak and go on existing in my mind, as tangible as the ripples and circles agitating the waters of the river which I can see from my window. Little fires burning in the winter light.
I wanted to live inside "The Goldfinch". After a few pages, I knew I wanted to follow Theo Decker for the rest of my life and sit quietly in the corner of his mind as he experienced the world. Donna Tartt brought to life a mesmerizing and elusive New York, both bohemian and aristocratic, and cracked open its doors to let you in, awe-struck and exhilarated.
Theo. Welty. Hobie. Pippa. Mrs. Barbour. Boris. A handful of unforgettable characters brought together by coincidence and chance in an astounding Phoenix of a book, continually rising from its ashes into different forms: thriller, Bildungsroman, philosophical treaty, coming of age tale, epic, travelogue, memoir.
A novel that will etch itself into your mind with a pocket knife like an "I love you" into a tree.
A pure act of love. Sublime.