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July 23, 2014



Okay, as to The Secret History: I haven't yet read The Goldfinch, and the reason why is that I have read TSH. It's set in a New England small college (which might appeal to you), but the characters, including the insecure first-person narrator, are charmless and the whole book felt unfocused and largely pointless to me. And I currently have The Goldfinch waiting for me at the local library, plus my mother's copy is about to come available, and I feel . . . overwhelmed by its length and by the fact that I didn't much care for the earlier book. The "earlier book" issue is surmountable (yeah, Michael Chabon, I'm talkin' to YOU), but I sure as heck don't want to BUY it. Anyhow, rather than TSH, I'd go with maybe some Kate Atkinson. Thanks for the review; it was helpful to me.


Read TSH!! I loved it.


I'm no help because I did not read TSH. I'm just commenting to say, "Thank you!" I've been staring at Goldfinch (my book group's choice) without opening it for 2 weeks. Now with your endorsement/encouragement, I will begin!


I've been meaning to read this one for months, too! Thanks for the nudge!


I finished the book a couple months ago and until you said last fifty pages I had only thought it was ten or so. Then I went back to check and yes it was 50 pages. Happily, Tartt makes 50 pages feel like ten pages. But you're right. The whole final chapter was unnecessary and deflating. She should have just lopped it off with Hobie and Theo's final conversation. Otherwise a page turner I was always eager to pick up.


I haven't picked up Goldfinch (its on the shelf) because I thought TSH was trite and I hated all the characters. Maybe I'll give it a try.

Laurie C

I was surprised how much I loved The Goldfinch because I was pretty unimpressed with The Secret History. I read it late, after a lot of rave reviews, so that may have played into its not living up to my expectations.


Agree with your assessment. The last section could've been left out of the book entirely. And, I didn't really like Boris (please call it Ukraine, not "the Ukraine").

I liked TSH a lot when I read it years ago, but don't know how it would hold up on a re-read. I could not finish her second book, _The Little Friend_.

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