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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Summer 2014

lifestyles of the young people in America. Each novel is basically written in the first person by a protagonist who is either 12, 15, or 27 years old. Most of the reviews written of Tartt’s novels are not only glowing, but written in superlative terms: Stephen King, John Grisham, The Times of London, all speak of “Donna Tartt’s ability as ‘a gifted writer’, ‘a thinking person’s thriller’, ‘an American classic,’ ‘forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled’”. ... “The Goldfinch is a triumph with a brave theme running through it: Tartt may addict, but art also saves us from the ungainly sadness of creatures pushing and struggling to live. Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction.” You, as the reader, must try all of it to Editor Robert R. Kracke Book Reviews arrives at her belief of the identity of the person she thinks should be blamed. This novel is reminiscent of some that Mark Twain or William Faulkner might have written, complete with a Benjy Compson of “The Sound and the Fury” fame. The Goldfinch is Donna Tartt’s most recent novel. It received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and again, the reader must be prepared for an education in antiques, famous and not so famous art of the world, life in New York City, Las Vegas, and Amsterdam, the world of recreational drugs, and west coast thinking. The novel revolves around a young boy who comes from an affluent family in New York City, and who is visiting one of the art museums with his mother when the museum is bombed by a terrorist. His mother is killed in the bombing, and he is taken in by the wealthy family of one of his classmates after stealing the original painting of The Goldfinch from the museum. Later, his absent father, who has abandoned the family, ultimately has to take on this young boy, his son, who is not yet 19 years of age. The boy is obviously very bright (as are all of Tartt’s protagonists) and the scene of the novel shifts from New York City to Las Vegas (where his father is a gambler) to Amsterdam, where one of his Russian New York school friends is now an international drug dealer. The Goldfinch is a painting by Carel Fabritius, a Dutch student of Rembrandt, which presently hangs in the Frick Collection Museum in New York. The painting has become so famous because of this novel that the museum has made special arrangements for the crowds it is drawing today, much the same as The Girl With a Pearl Earring drew when it was also the subject of a novel. Again, The Goldfinch novel is a challenge to your intellect if your interest is in art, antiques, history, and culture in general. This reviewer cannot recommend these novels too highly. Donna Tartt’s writing style is so fluent and so descriptive that the reader feels a part of the developing plot. Her faults, again, are verbosity and her attempts to understand the drugridden believe it. These books are not beach reading entertainment, but are for serious readers only who appreciate fine writing. G $20 FOR 20 YEARS Support the philanthropic and educational mission of The Birmingham Bar Foundation with an individual gift of $20 in 2014 to commemorate The Foundation’s 20th Anniversary. The Birmingham Bar Foundation encourages and unifies the philanthropic and educational efforts of the Birmingham Bar Association for the betterment of our community and for the promotion of justice. All checks should be made payable to Birmingham Bar Foundation and mailed to 2021 Second Avenue North | Birmingham, Alabama 35203 Attention: Nikki Tucker Thomas BIRMINGHAM BAR FOUNDATION Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Summer 2014 17


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Summer 2014
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