My big read this month was "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt which I was really looking forward to. Theo Decker faces a catastrophic life event at the age of thirteen, and the novel deals with the aftermath and it's effects on Theo as he grows to adulthood. At almost 800 pages long, this was a lengthy book but I was enthralled from the very beginning. Tartt is a wonderful writer, intelligent but immensely readable and it is little wonder that prizes have been bestowed on this, her third novel. It seems churlish to have a quibble but I did think some bits could have done with a bit of an edit, the parts set in Las Vegas dragged a bit as did the Amsterdam gangster scenes. However, on the whole, this was a great big meaty read and I am so thrilled that a WOMAN is getting the plaudits usually reserved for the likes of Jonathan Franzten et al.
Any book I read afterwards was going to suffer in comparison. I read Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie" on a friend's recommendation. It was "alright" I suppose, but felt like an essay stretched out to a book. Albom's old college professor is dying of a progressive neurological disorder and now, largely wrapped up in his career, Albom starts to visit Morrie every week in the months leading to the old man's death. It is full of platitudes and I just felt a bit 'meh' afterwards. I liked his "Five People You Meet In Heaven" but wasn't hugely impressed by this one.