Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

While I was still in Amsterdam, I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years.

This is a predictable way of saying: mother is dead and I'm not cool with that. Although, we aren't told this straight away, a grade three skill level is all that's required to infer this. Instead, the narrative takes a scenic detour with some descriptive writing, you know, setting and stuff. Only at the end of section one is our assumption confirmed. Momma's dead, and after scrounging around the dense narrative text, it's revealed three pages later that it's the narrator's fault. So despite the artsy-fartsiness, a plot is plotting to stand up through the imagery and bitter-sweet realism.

Isn't imagery like this reserved for university students getting ready to storm the world?

...lights twinkling on the canal bridges...scarves flying in the icy wind...
...Christmas carols that hung tinny and fragile in the winter air.
Chaotic room-service trays; too many cigarettes; lukewarm vodka....

Oh, the imagery!

The first chapter is a whopping 51 pages and if the first few pages are any indication, this one moves at the pace of a dead man farting. Oh, the imagery! That's right, unimaginably slow. Plus, the tone reeks sentimentality, so much so, that before long I feared there would be a little imaginary violin player roaming my brain playing death scenes from soap operas.

Oh and this is not a book to read on the way to work. It's heavy - tonnage-wise - not intellectual-wise, at least not in the opening scene. There's firewood lighter than this book.

First thing said:

"Ah, he's full, my lady."

Verdict: Fail

Rudy Globird

No comments:

Post a Comment