Teaser Tuesdays: The Goldfinch



I really enjoyed the beginning and middle sections of the book, it’s really gripping, but towards the end it’s pretty slow and depressing. Ughh, it’s so depressing. The below excerpt had me wincing. Here, the protagonist Theo Decker is coming off a drug binge and is contemplating life with a very bleak attitude:

Because I don’t care what anyone says or how often or winningly they say it: no one will ever, ever be able to persuade me that life is some awesome, rewarding treat. Because, here’s the truth: life is a catastrophe. The basic fact of existence – of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do – is a catastrophe.

Forget all this ridiculous ‘Our Town’ nonsense everyone talks: the miracle of a newborn babe, the joy of one simple blossom, Life You Are Too Wonderful To Grasp…

For me – and I’ll keep repeating it doggedly till I die, till I fall over on my ungrateful nihilistic face and am too weak to say it: better never born, than born into this cesspool. Sinkhole of hospital beds, coffins, and broken hearts. No release, no appeal, no “do-overs” to employ a favored phrase of Xandra’s, no way forward but age and loss, and no way out but death.

~ The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Have you read this book? Did you find it depressing too? I am hoping there is some ray of light in the end for poor Theo Decker.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • I did like this book, and I don’t remember finding it especially depressing. But then, I was comparing it to Tartt’s first book, The Secret History, which talks you into rooting for the main characters to kill one of the people in their group of friends.

    • Nishita

      @readingtheend:disqus I haven’t read The Secret History yet.

      Actually at the time I posted this teaser, I was going through a very depressing section: Theo’s drug abuse, Andy’s death, Mrs.Barbour’s decline…but it’s come out of that now, and I’m in the final stretch now I think and more hopeful of a happy ending for Boris and Theo.

  • Karen

    I like the strong narrative voice but yes it is a bit gloomy. I’ve not read the book – its waiting for me but I am trying to pluck up the courage to start since it is so long.

    Karen (BookerTalk)

  • Wow, depressing is definitely the right description. Pessimistic to the last is what it sounds like. I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book, but now, I’m kind of glad I haven’t picked it up yet. I definitely don’t want to be bummed out, even if it’s by a great story. Very interesting pick!

    Here are My Teasers.

  • mary Ann Langan

    A depressing teaser,powerful.

  • laura thomas

    He sounds so lost, so bitter. This would be a challenge to read. Sometimes it’s good to read something that’s not a happy ever after though:)
    Here’s my TT – http://fuonlyknew.com/2014/11/04/teaser-tuesdays-88-real-elves-an-emily-castle-mystery/

    • Nishita

      @laurathomas61:disqus I haven’t finished the book yet, I am really hoping for a happy ending though. Let’s see how it goes 🙂

  • Sonia Lal

    Wow. Heard so much about this book. And those are some strong opnions!

  • Laurel-Rain Snow

    I have heard a lot about this one, but I’d really have to be in a good place to read such a depressing book…LOL.

    Not that I haven’t read my share of those…thanks for the excerpts!

    Here’s mine:


    • Nishita

      @laurelrainsnow:disqus I should clarify that not the entire book is depressing, but yeah, it’s not a light-hearted book.

  • I’ve heard a lot about this book. Thanks for the teaser. Mine this week is at http://wp.me/pZnGI-fo

  • That certainly sounds depressing! I’ve heard good things about the book, but I’m not sure if I will read it.
    Today I’m featuring Sing In The Morning, Cry At Night by Barbara J. Taylor.

  • Karen and Gerard

    My husband read and liked this one, but then he seems to like depressing books. Here’s a link to his review if interested: http://ourstack.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-goldfinch-by-donna-tartt.html

    • Nishita

      @Karen I am almost at the end, it’s a lovely book, but very, very sad. Detailed review will be up sometime next week I think.

  • BethFishReads

    I haven’t gotten around to this. The reviews are so mixed ….

    • Nishita

      @BethFishReads:disqus I can understand why. It’s a compelling read, but at the same time, there are all sorts of problems with it.

  • Zoë

    Great work here. I absolutely loved this book, my favourite read this year so far. But it IS depressing, as you say, but wow, Tartt writes wonderfully.

    • Nishita

      @disqus_VgvrqNgGl4:disqus : I agree with you there, very sad, but I know I will remember this book for a long time.

  • This one didn’t appeal to me at all and having read your teaser I’m quite pleased, as you say more than a little depressing. Here is my TT http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/teaser-tuesday-november-4/

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