This was easily the most overrated book of 2013. I hated it. Let me try to explain why:
1. The constant use of superlative language: Every slam is deafening, every headache splitting, the narrator is "tormented" by small things (not the bombing that takes place in the beginning itself). Donna Tartt writes in a language of a cliche New York snob, where every little thing is forced to mean something or to be special. Horrible. 2. Cultural, but superficial name dropping (all the freaking time): 13 year olds with Palestrina on their Ipods (or Shostakovich), art history books that a kid carries with him, Tupac Shakur courses at high school, and on and on and on. Neither the narrator, nor the main characters are really affected by art. It does not serve any purpose here, other than Tartt showing off, in a patronizing and preaching manner: Disgusting. 3. Oh, boy, her problem with time: Ipods in 1999? Or references to 9/11? The research here is lousy, brands and products appear at times when there were not even launched or invented. Bad job, Donna, what did you do in those 10 years? 4. Length: 770 pages? Really? With endless sections about furniture restoration and drug use? With completely shallow and inconsistent characters, that are sketchy at best?
I am really sorry that I am using the superlative language I complained about myself, but this book was the worst I forced myself to read in a long time. What a waste of time.