The Goldfinch

The GoldfinchDonna Tartt has conjured up some critical controversy with her latest novel, The Goldfinch. While it has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014, the critics have been fighting over whether or not this book should be getting the accolades that is has. Read more about it in Vanity Fair.

But, controversy or not, it is a fascinating, enthralling story about Theo Decker. Theo’s troubles begin when, while visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art with his mother, the museum is blown up by terrorists, killing his mother, while  he barely escapes with his life, and with one of the most valuable paintings in the world, the Carel Fabritius masterpiece, The Goldfinch. His life takes on many twists and turns as he struggles to keep the painting hidden and ultimately find meaning for his own life.

the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Mark Haddon currently has an interesting blog, is a writer and illustrator of numerous children’s books and teaches creative writing for the Avron Foundation, living in Oxford, England. He has worked with autistic individuals as a young man.

Christopher Boone, the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this revelatory novel, relaxes by groaning and doing math problems in his head, eats red-but not yellow or brown-foods and screams when he is touched. Strange as he may seem, other people are far more of a conundrum to him, for he lacks the intuitive “theory of mind” by which most of us sense what’s going on in other people’s heads. When his neighbor’s poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes (one of his favorite characters) and track down the killer.

Question: Prove the following result: A triangle with sides that can be written in the form n³ + 1, n²-1 and 2n (where n>1) is right angled. Show by means of a counterexample, that the converse is false.

Solar by Ian McEwan

“What he was about to do could not be undone. He would be putting his innocence behind him. He dipped the head of the hammer in the puddle of blood, smeared the handle, and set is aside to dry. Next he took the used paper tissue and bloodied that too, and pushed it under the sofa, well out of sight. The comb was trickier, just as he had anticipated. He pulled away some hair from between the teeth and managed to place some between … [the] fingers.” Excerpt from Solar, page 107 paperback edition.

The protagonist, Michael Beard’s life: Nobel Prize winner, five time loser husband, over weight sleaze ball, junk food lover, devious, saviour of the planet –  what??

This tale is for the mature at heart – not really interesting even for me as the story is strictly from a middle aged man’s point of view. While some scenes are quite funny, they generally seem to repeat themselves and we are faced time and again with the characters narrow point of view.

Ian McEwan is a critically acclaimed writer. His books include Atonement, Enduring Love and Saturday. A list of his works HERE