I have to say that I was extremely excited about this book. There was so much buzz about it and the synopsis sounded very promising. This was my first audiobook and what I really enjoyed about this book was David Pittu's narration. What an amazing job he did with all the characters. I have to say, with confidence, that had I not listened to this book as an audiobook and instead read the actual book, I probably would not have been able to finish it.
I would recommend this book despite the fact that this book fell short on my expectations. I would warn them that the book is extremely long and a good 200+ pages of this book could have been removed and probably would have been a more enjoyable book.
Yes. As I mentioned David Pittu saves this book.
It was a little TOO long for my taste.
I would recommend this book, but it took me a while to get into, and I would rate the first half to three quarter of the story a 3, but the last quarter really revved up and I would rate it a 4.5. The narration was fantastic though, and was really what kept me listening. My book club picked this book, and the two "listeners" were the only ones that finished the book, everyone else gave up on reading the story...thats a tell for the excellent narration.
The performance was amazing. I loved listening to him talk. He does great accents, and it was very worth listening too.
I've heard this book described as "a piece of art". I would agree, it wasn't my style because everything seemed very long winded. If I was reading this, rather than listening to it, I wouldn't have made it through the first chapter, but I'm glad I finished it.
There are just too many words in this book. Too many unnecessary superficially descriptive words and not enough depth. The story is shallow and so are most of the characters. Most of all the main character, whose emotions and actions are just weird. They don't make sense throughout the book. How can someone write 700 pages and only scratch the surface of absolutely everything?
Donna Tartt could have spent the 10 years it took her to write this book to do some better research: iphones and ipods did not exist when they first appear in her book. It seems as if she has been sponsored by Apple, so often does she mention their products and the brand. It would have helped if her knowledge of Europe, its geography and its culture hadn't been so incredibly superficial. Antwerp is only 2 hours drive from Amsterdam, so there is no need for Boris to drive "all night" and there is actually an Apple store in Amsterdam where Theo could have replaced his broken iphone, considering his obsession for it.
It didn't have a favourite scene.
The only redeeming quality of the book is Boris. If only the book had been only about him and not boring Theo.
How can this book have won the Pulitzer Prize? The jury must have either been illiterate or bribed. There is no other explanation.
Mind-numbingly dull and over written. Drags out to the point that I couldn't even finish the book.
The narrator is the only reason I listened as long as I did.
About half of them. Doesn't matter which ones because they are all the same.
Audible brings the printed word to vibrant life. It's such fun to listen while driving or doing the chores.
Ms Tartt is a compelling writer, and she captures the essence of a scene, the speech patterns of different classes of people, of recent times in America, and the atmospherics of family life brilliantly.
ut she overwrites scenes (the aftermath of the museum bomb) and many conversations between Boris and Theo.
Also, for me, that last part of the book seemed like an afterthought, Theo wandering the world and meditating about the meaning (or lack of meaning) of life, page after page after discursive page, without really connecting to the book itself or adding that satisfying sense of closure we all love to feel when we finish a great book.
Ms Tartt's characters seem stuck and maybe that is what she intends. It isn't that I have to love or agree or approve of every character in a book. But these characters are walking non sequiturs, and I found it hard to understand what motivates their decisions most of the time and this had the effect of distancing me from caring about them or what happens to them.
Perhaps it is not surprising that most grown-ups would not be all that interested in the circular, running-in-place antics of two lost boys high on alcohol and drugs, a situation that doesn't really change enough in the 15 years covered by the story.
So why did I finish the book? Two reasons.
First, the superb narration by actor David Pittu, who lifts the characters right off the page and breathes personality and life into each of them, kept me with this book when I might otherwise have given up. His performance was precise, nuanced, and so emotionally true.
Second, this is not a bad book just because I found it relentlessly tedious and way too long, and since so many other readers liked it, I thought I'd defer to the wisdom of the crowd and see it through to the end.
No, very good at start and end but slow in the middle. Would not have missed listening once however.
The first third of the book "setting up" all of the plot was very absorbing. Mid portion of early life in Las Vegas, not so much.
It was ok
Pippa. Wouldn't dare be out with Boris, who knows what could happen. The Barbours were not my kind of people. Theo would likely be stoned. If Pippa was not free would be happy to hang with Hobie.
Like so many others, I wanted to love this book. Sadly, I did not. The story started off wonderfully creative and I found myself excited to keep listening but it never really went anywhere. I was frustrated with the main character and his lack of common sense. For such a smart kid, he sure was dumb. More than once, I found myself thinking "help yourself, Kid!" or "Okay, we get it, move on." But he didn't help himself and the story dragged on through aimless angst and self-destruction.
The performance was engaging and my only issue was with the narrator's female voices--they all sounded like life-long smokers from Jersey. Not that there is anything wrong with life-long smokers from Jersey.
Wow, Donna Tartt can write! Her vivid descriptions bring each character, room, object, to life in the mind's eye. The story is full of memorable characters. Yes, the book is longer than necessary and somewhat repetitive at times, but the writing is so good, that I didn't mind. Some reviewers felt that the main character, Theo, was unlikeable, but I didn't find him so at all. He is alone in the world, scarred by the tragic loss of his mother, and is struggling to find his way. My biggest complaint would be that that women play such a small role in the 771 pages/ 32 hours of this book. I alternated between reading and listening, just so I could get through the book sooner. The narrator did a good job, which made listening a real pleasure.
Better editing of the story. There was obsessive attention to detail and long sections of unfocused writing.