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Last year Alice Munro won the Pulitzer for her wonderful collection of short stories, Dear Life, and this year the prize for fiction goes to another deserving candidate, Donna Tartt and The Goldfinch.
From the gripping opening of the novel to the surprise ending, The Goldfinch epitomizes the best of a great novel -- great storytelling, compelling (although not completely likable) characters, sweeping narrative, colorful settings, coming of age, the journey of life.
While a bit long (one can skip or skim the 40 page diatribe towards the end of the novel), The Goldfinch engages and educates without being too pedantic (except for Tartt's philosophical tangent). I loved the insider perspective on the art world, being reminded of the artistry of antiques (coming from High Point, NC, furniture is a comfortable topic for me) and being immersed in New York high and low society.
The novel evokes Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" mantra: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." At the same time, its glimpses of irony and dark humor were much appreciated amidst the despair of addiction and family dysfunction.
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My dog Tucker, protesting Uggie's shutout