I couldn’t hold up the book, because I only have the Kindle version, so I printed out the cover to share my disdain.
WARNING – This post is a big fat spoiler, so if you haven’t read it and plan to, don’t read on.
I’ve thrown this image of the painting in here to block the spoilers for you (you’re welcome) and also to say – LOOK. The painting itself isn’t even particularly compelling. It’s like they made the very cover of the book a big fat foreshadowy warning.
I’m throwing this on the pyre since I mentioned it in my introduction. The difference between this and other titles in my series is that I know precisely why I can’t finish this book – I fucking loathe it.
Sorry (not sorry at all), perhaps that’s a bit harsh. Nevertheless it is true. This book has no redeeming qualities. None. And it just keeps going on and on and on and on and on. I mean Jesus. How long must you subject the reader to the seemingly endless poor life choices of your utterly despicable protagonist?
I take it back. The dog. The dog was the one decent thing about this black hole of human waste.
Literally every single bad thing that happened to this jackass-not-a-PRO-tagonist (whose name has completely escaped me now) was one hundred percent his own damn fault. Everything could have been avoided had he simply not been a selfish asshole for five minutes. But no, he made bad choice after bad choice. He lied, he stole, he consumed untold quantities of illicit substances – he was a giant dick.
I don’t care how this book ends unless it’s in his untimely and well deserved death.
He could have redeemed himself at any point, too. That’s the truly irritating part. Like, dude. Just make one decent decision. Just tell the truth about one goddamn thing. Just give back the stupid painting. But no. Shove it back in your pillowcase or wherever the hell you’re keeping it today and keep panicking. Marry the sociopath. Forge more antiques. BE A DICK ALL THE TIME. Yeah, that’s totally the right path.
He’s not even an anti-hero. He’s just a villain all the way around. (What the hell is his name? … Theo. Thank you, Google.) I mean I love a good anti-hero. What red blooded American girl doesn’t love a good anti-hero?
And I’ll admit, I don’t have a lot of patience for addict stories. I’ve known an addict or five in my life, and I don’t have a lot of sympathy. Sorry (again, not sorry).
I guess that’s my whole problem with books like this. Or even reality. Everyone has a choice. Everyone has endless choices. Why are people always making the wrong ones? Shit. Now this has turned into a preachy homily on living a better life. Like I’m better than anybody else. I’ve made my share of bad choices. (I mean, let’s just not talk about the 90s, OK? Also that period around the 2008 election in which I finally threw off the shackles of pretending to be liberal and went a little overboard. Actually genuinely sorry about some of that vitriol, chickens.) I guess I just think if you’re going to write 700+ pages on some drug addled angst ridden selfish piece of shit, there better be a healthy dose of redemption thrown in. And if there is one thing this book is lacking, (and there isn’t just one thing, let’s be clear), it’s redemption.
Unless that happens at the end, which I’ll never know, because I am not finishing this book. I like myself too much for that.
I wish the world offered refunds on books you bought and now wholly regret. Is it true that it took Donna Tartt ten years to write this book? I can’t believe it isn’t taking every reader ten years to slog through it.
I’ve just this minute realized that two of the books I hate most in the world were Pulitzer contenders. This piece of trash won it for fiction, and Eggers was nominated for non-fiction. Who the hell makes these decisions??
Maybe I should file this one under a new category – “Books I Utterly Despise.”