Better editing of the story. There was obsessive attention to detail and long sections of unfocused writing.
I listened to this book as I performed tedious, non-thinking work, but I could have better used the listening time for more worthwhile books. I felt that this book badly needed a good editor. It was chock full of cynical similes and negative descriptive words on top of meandering "stream of consciousness" narrative. The latter was "justified" in the last few minutes by the explanation of the story's having been written from a meticulous journal kept by the protagonist. The book seemed like endless word dropping (and drug and dope dropping) that expressed the author's belief that she knew a lot. However, at the end when she was expounding on her philosophy of life, she seemed rather confused and pretty muddled in what she was trying to express, much like the preaching of a young person who thinks he alone has just discovered the meaning of life. This book wasn't for me.
I plan on listening to Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century
The performance was excellent. Pittu changed voice flawlessly and read with good expression. However, there were many passages that even Pittu's vigor could not raise above tedium.
I think this book appeals to younger people who especially associate strongly with the New York ambiance. It also may appeal to gallery goers. I enjoy art and like learning about great work, but this book, while spending a lot of time on the inner appreciation of great art, bored me with its expounding on the subjective "understanding" of the works.
This seemed like a book for pre-teens. I'm not interested in all of the drinking, drugging, stealing, fighting, etc of teenage boys which seemed the major action of the book. Main character was in a mental fog for various reasons throughout most of the book, which was tiresome. End of book laboriously laid out all of the book's intended themes and it felt like a high school lecture. Ending was ridiculous and not satisfying after slogging through this very long book.
The narrator made Theo's friend Andy sound like Kermit the frog and Andy's father sound like Thurston Howell III. Female voices were terrible as well, as if he was trying too hard. Russian accent was ok and was the one saving grace. Narration in general was distracting to the story.
Where do I even begin?
Strong words, but they are the best I can manage for what has to be the most disappointing work I've ever slogged through. I pushed my way through more than 3/4's of it, constantly thinking it would eventually pay off... that the idiocy of the protagonist would have purpose and reason... but I gave it up, unwilling to spend even another second wasted on it.
The main character never wises up. What situations we find ourselves in childhood, we are supposed to surpass and rise above when adults we have the maturity and intelligence to make better life decisions. Not so for this novel's central character. He perpetuates a childhood situation, much too far into adulthood, with one drug or alcohol induced episode after another. He's totally un-likeable. I cannot identify with anyone so lacking in self respect and decided I was wasting my time trying to do so, regardless of what final 'earth shattering revelations' the author may have had in store in the last pages.
I feel utterly suckered by the publisher's overstated promises of what this work was and would advise anyone who doesn't enjoy novels about weak minded drug addicts to keep looking.
This narrator has an amazing range of distinct character voices, particularly the female characters. He was truly the only bright spot in this terrible waste of time.
Only the narrator.
The story was engaging and kept me interested for many long driving hours.
Theo was my favorite. Mr. Pittu, please don't do Russian and English accents. It hurts.
Ms. Tartt, you are awesome, but fire your editor.
The unrelenting sadness and negative attitude of the main character. Many tragic events happen to him but he is unable to recognize any of the good things that comes his way.
All of the thought tangents that were unnecessary to forward the plot but added length to an over long novel.
Probably Boris, his resourcefulness and mostly positive attitude was a good counterpoint to Theo's depression.
The excessive details of all the drug use. The point could have been made with greater brevity. Also the long pages of Theo's worry and self doubts were grating..
The reader was excellent. I also appreciate the author,s fantastic vocabulary.
I liked the characters & the story. The philosophical ideas presented were interesting, but way overdone (too wordy).
Maybe. I wouldn't have gotten through this one if I had been reading rather than listening.
Very expressive. Not sure about the Russian accents, but for all I know they could have been spot on.
Yes, I think it would make a good movie.
The book really should have been about half as long as it was. Excellent description of how depression feels in Chapter 15. If I didn't know the author's name was "Donna", I would have assumed it was written by a man. I'd be interested to hear from male readers if they think she does a credible job of writing in the voice of a man.
The book has exactly one interesting character--a young Ukrainian named Boris. Otherwise the book was too long and is overrated. Hard to believe so many favorable reviewers read or listened to the entire book.
No, even though I have read other books by Ms. Tartt which I enjoyed.
I did not think that the explicit detail of the drug experiences added in any way to the story line. While the idea of the story was interesting, she spent entirely too much time in details that added nothing to the story.
Master of dialects/voices.
The discriptions of the art work added to the visual picture of the painting.
Very disappointing book.
It seemed to me that scenes kept being reviewed and rewritten without any editing. After finding my self thinking for about the fourth time "This has already been said and resaid," I lost interest and went on to something else.