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Read Alikes for Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch
Congratulations to Donna Tartt for winning the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her novel The Goldfinch. If you've already read it, then you know why everyone's going ga-ga over it. But if you're still waiting patiently in the holds line to read it, then perhaps we can suggest a few plot-driven, "what's going to happen next?" titles for you to read in the meantime.
Many people have commented that Tartt's writing style is partially influenced by the great 19th century master Charles Dickens. In particular, many reviewers have said The Goldfinch is most reminiscent of Great Expectations. Both books are about young boys who overcome trying circumstances and achieve redemption.
Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is also a story about a young boy who loses a parent. More significantly, each boys inherits an object from their dead parent (a Dutch painting in Tartt's book; a mysterious key in Foer) that they (understandably) obsess over.
Both The Goldfinch & Extremely Loud... are set in New York. Another option is to have a similar-themed book set somewhere else - preferably in an exotic location. Jan Philipp's The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is about Julia, a young woman whose father disappears. When she finds a love letter he wrote to a Burmese woman many years before, she travels to the woman's village to solve the mystery - and that's where the plot thickens!
Finally, if you're looking for other old-fashioned, plot-driven books, there is David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet. If you've read other titles by Mitchell, you might be thinking "What does a Pynchonian post-modernist have to do with Donna Tartt?" However, in The Thousand Autumns..., Mitchell eschews his post-modern trappings and transports us to Japan in 1799, where Dutch shipping clerk Jacob de Zoet unexpectedly becomes involved with the the midwife daughter of a samurai.