Friday, June 13, 2014

The Goldfinch (in which I complain a lot & don’t actually say much)

Can I just say how incredibly frustrated I am by this book (many pages, long drawn-out passages)? I’m listening to the audio version (deadpan delivery, monotonous rendering) & I’m about 78% done. I don’t really care what happens to Theo or the painting. I am astounded that he’s able to accomplish anything in life because at every important point in the book he just seems dumbfounded by it all (mouth agape, awkward silences). And note all these parentheticals I’m adding – there must be hundreds of thousands in the book! Which is sort of ok in the descriptive sections, but many characters seem to have adopted the habit – they use them in conversation too. I find myself distracted , listening for the next description instead of paying attention to the story.

But here’s my problem. I profess to not caring about Theo or The Goldfinch, but I have to know what happens. It’s a compulsion I have – I might yell and curse and drive Dr. M crazy with my whining, but I never give up on a book. I'd like to check out the actual physical book from the library so I can scan it & skim over all the annoying bits (I’d be finished in an hour, tops!), but it’s so inexplicably popular that I would be #36 in line to read it. By the time it’s available I should be finished with the audio version.

Let’s see. There are 32 parts. And I’m almost done with part 25. Each part is about an hour long. That’s another seven hours of listening pleasure. So I should be done sometime on Wednesday or Thursday. Oh joy. I’m gonna need to listen to a Jack Reacher book next just to cleanse my palate. Ha!


10 comments:

  1. Do they have a Cliff Notes version? Or just ask online, "what happened to the damned Goldfinch?" You'll know the answer and won't have to endure any more. :)

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  2. You will absolutely want to find out the fantastic ending to this book. I'm sorry you are frustrated with it. Perhaps it does not lend itself well to the audio version. Some books are just better read than listened to and this is probably one of them. I totally loved it and relished every single page. In fact, I though it was the best book I read last year. Keep on keeping on.

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  3. My sister and I both loved her other book, but this one? Not at all!

    By the way, I used to force myself to finish bad books, but now I've decided I'm too old to waste my time!

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  4. Mrs. Chatterbox just picked up a copy of this book for her book club but she hasn't started it yet so I'm afraid I can't help. Say, do you recognize the picture on the cover? I wrote a post about the fellow who painted "The Goldfinch."

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  5. My gosh. You're not going to believe it but I was going to do a post on the same thing. My book club chose Goldfinch for our read this month. I've been complaining to H about the endless descriptions. I'm listening to the audio version and I keep falling asleep. Well, the sunny side is that it's good for insomnia. Donna Tartt needed a good editor. Slash, slash, slash

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  6. I had thought I would read it but when I saw it in the library, how think it was I changed my mind. I don't think I'll bother.

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  7. I don't listen to audio books, but I think I understand your frustration. Sometimes I feel that way about a movie...it drives me nuts, but I want to know how it ends.

    Then my husband goes on the Internet and googles it and tells me how it all works out. Phew!

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  8. drop the book and back away!!! you are like my daughter....we started a movie once and I quickly realized (like in the first 10 min) that it was going to be BAD. so I quit watching....she, on the other hand, HAD to finished and suffered through the whole thing!

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  9. I am so sorry you're not liking "The Goldfinch," which as you know I loved. I could NOT put it down. I was riveted. So I'm blaming the audiobook for your lack of enthusiasm!

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  10. I will happily walk away from a book if it's not keeping my interest. Life is TOO short and there are better books waiting...

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