Rereading a Classic: Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

Some books need to be thought about as much as read.

I recently read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for the second time. It’s about a boy who loses his mother in a terrorist attack, who is then taken in by a friend’s family in NYC and later his estranged father in Las Vegas. Stolen artwork is involved, and he eventually becomes a drug addict while discovering the shady underworld of antiques and art dealing.

It had probably been six years since I last read it, while I was an undergraduate in college. I flew through it the first time; always anxious to get to my next book in those days. Now I take my time when I read, although I still get through a lot of material. I give myself time to think about what I’m reading instead of flying past commas, periods and dialogue. I didn’t retain as much as I do now, which is one reason I wanted to read it again. When I started rereading the book, I recalled the first 75%, but everything after that was new.

The other reason I wanted to read it again is because it’s a great book (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in fiction). Donna Tartt is an excellent writer. She’s in the running to write my obituary and epitaph. Her stories are intriguing, which can’t be said about all books with literary merit. Tartt is my second favorite author after Haruki Murakami.

If nothing else, hopefully this post will give you a new book to add to your collection.