The publisher says it’s a great book.
It got a full page ad on the back of the New Yorker last month. Lots of reviews on the back of the book jacket saying what a compelling story.
It got top billing on the Barnes and Noble website and a prominent place on the Bestseller table right inside the door at the Barnes and Noble store. It’s ranked #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list for hardcover fiction this week.
I’ve read the first 25 pages of it. So far, it sucks. The story is slow out of the gate. It’s written in the 1st person, but the language doesn’t match the way you tell a story in the first person. It reads like it was written, not told. If it was written better, maybe it would move along. Maybe it would be half the size.
I’m conflicted. I know some books take a while to get started. Some take a couple chapters to hit their stride. But some never do. It’s a huge book. How many more pages do I give it before cutting my losses and throwing it in the recycle bin?
Is there anyone not associated with the publisher who’s read The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, who can recommend sticking with it?
Update: I just read Stephen King’s review of it in the Oct 10, 2013 NYT Book Review. He says it’s great. Compares it to Dickens. Except for this: “‘The Goldfinch’ is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade.” In other words, there’s a book this good slightly more often than every other year.
Update (2/23): Based on Stephen King’s review, I decided to keep with it. The story starts clicking on page 28. Now I’m hooked.