Not really. But it really is a bad novel.
Friends had recently expressed surprise when I told them I hadn't read a novel for several months (because I was hung up on learning roles for several plays in succession). So what did I choose to read this past week? The Goldfinch by Donna Tratt. I actually finished it, but it was a struggle.
The opening section is boring and confusing, but it is thankfully brief. The next section about a 13-year-old who is in an art museum when a terrorist bomb goes off, killing his mother, is gripping and provides the basis and the energy for much of the rest of the novel.
But the dates are all messed up, with iPods and 9/11 discussed before they happened. The drug-use scenes are laboured and disgusting. And the last section of pure blathering was pointless.
I have no idea how this novel became even remotely popular. It had potential, but it was awful. I agreed with all the 1-star reviews on Amazon, and with some of the 2- and 3-star reviews.
And from now on, before I start reading a book about which I know nothing, I'll try to remember to read the Amazon reviews first.