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.
This just drags on and on and on. For the first time, I cannot finish an audible book. Theo, is not very likable, which is okay, that he is whiny, is not. The plot showed promise, but getting to the action, took forever. Every time I started to listen to the book, I fell asleep. Theo made my head hurt. Not worth the time, effort or credit.
Writing is a series of choices. The author makes those choices for the characters and crafts the story. Good storytellers can make you want to listen to stories that (in less capable hands) would be boring, terrible, terrifying or weak.
Here, in this story, I think the author made reasonable choices, but the story is so bleak, dirty, hopeless, loveless, rudderless... there is no redemption, hope, courage, goodness. If characters are kind, it is accidental. If characters are honorable, it is due to circumstance. I feel like I need to wash my imagination now that I have read this story.
And then -- the author's rather tedious philosophy lecture at the end of the book from characters so broken and flawed and tragic -- that is almost an insult to me as the reader. If I have hung in thorough 750+ pages, I don't think I should then need to be told the point of it all -- if I haven't gotten the point on my own from the story, why write the story? Write an essay on your philosophy and be done with it already.
I may try Secret History, but I am going to get some distance first... a friend said once that there are books you finish and you feel like you need a cleanse -- that's how I feel after this one.
Pittu does a good job, but the novel is simply twice as long as it needs to be. I found myself wishing to rush him because if I had been reading it, I would have been skimming pages.
Overall, perhaps yes, but right now, I honestly wish I could un-listen.
I think books can be tragic and hopeless -- think East of Eden -- and still be astoundingly riveting and absolutely fantastic. I don't think all of the kudos given this book are warranted. I am walking away from it feeling like I have just had a week-long argument with someone who wants me to believe that meanness, hopelessness, addiction, manipulation, dishonesty, theft and abandonment are normal parts of a worthy life, and reality is a world where evil triumphs, bad behavior wins, children are disposable, God is dead, and art is the only good and true thing. Pulitzer prize, really? Good grief.
Theo Decker was a self-serving loser who had an unhealthy mother fixation. He didn't deserve any of the people who befriended him. The book was morally bankrupt and minimized drug abuse and addiction. Perhaps if Theo had any sense of gratitude, recognized his self-destructive actions or even recognized his mother's faults, I might have enjoyed it more. Theo never "grew up" but remained a self-absorbed adolescent. Boring!
I wouldn't bother with another book by this author again. The descriptions were agonizing. Donna Tartt needed an editor to tell her that two or three descriptive phrases would work just as well as 5 or 6. Definitely overrated!
The only redeeming factor about this book was the performance was good. It was easy to distinguish between the different characters and to visualize the story.
This was the first book by Donna Tartt that I read (or listened to). The story is great and beleivable in all its tiny details. I think it pictures very well of how it is to be raised today in the Western society. You don't have to lose your parents (or even one of them) to end up on the somewhat shady side of life. You might just as well have parents who are (physically or mentally) absent and who does not think child-rearing is a particluar interesting topic. But kids survive, even if they don't thrive, or succeed in the "normal" way. The story is very well told, does never get boring and it is brought to a very logical end. I loved this book and will look for others by the author. The narration is also great.
I would definitely buy another book narrated by David Pittu; I probably wouldn't buy another book of this type from Donna Tartt
His characters come to life; he does an amazing job of changing his voice. His cadence is great, his speed is perfect, his delivery is mesmerizing.
No, please, enough angst already
After listening to this book, the fable 'The Emperor's New Clothes' comes to mind. Am I the only one who didn't enjoy this book? (Am I the only one who sees that the Emperor is naked?) So full of angst, stupidity, poor choices and droning on and on. Theo is supposed to be a bright kid but he can't figure out how to tell Hobie about the painting. As an adult, he can't tell Pippa how he feels but he has no problem swindling his customers. He 'loses' his passport and is gobsmacked. Really? If not for the narrator I would have poked my eyes out - so depressing. And such an original (not) ending (spoiler alert), that life is hard and then you die. Who knew! Thanks for the heads' up about life. The story rates a 2 (based on a couple of great characters, Boris and Hobie). The narration is 5 star.
An abbridged version of about 1/3 the length.
It was way too long with detail that, to me, provided absolutly nothing. As a short example: Theo was looking through a florist window and then needed to explained in detail, various flowers before seeing in the windows reflection his girlfriend.
All the above
I hate to say it, but it just might be a chick book, and this is the first of quite a few that I've listen to (chick books) and really didn't like
The characters and the plausibility of the story. It was poorly edited. It took forever to get the point across. I didn't believe in the actions of most of he characters. Only the antiques dealer and his niece were morally acceptable characters.
The narrator was good.
Disappointment and anger. I felt like I had been duped into reading it. I could have course turned it off.