34 Comments
Nov 23, 2023Liked by Vinay Prasad

MORE book reviews please. Along with Kirn and Taibbi's short story reviews every week, your book reviews will fill the empty hole left over from childhood....

Expand full comment

"Bibliovoid" is my word to describe that empty space inside after finishing a book that pulls you in like that. It should, in my opinion, be a real word.

Expand full comment
Nov 23, 2023Liked by Vinay Prasad

Thanks for this thoughtful analysis. Coincidentally, I'm reading The Secret History at the moment, and am taking The Goldfinch on vacation to finish it (I started it on vacation in 2019).

Keep those book reviews coming! Cheers!

Expand full comment

What a nice and refreshing commentary to read on Thanksgiving morning. I also enjoyed this book tremendously for its moral ambiguity and depth of story and characters. A joy to read.

Life is definitely complicated: my son is famous for having said in first grade that he is grateful for World War 2 because without it his grandfather wouldn't have emigrated to the US or met his grandmother and my son would not exist. A complicated concept a little one. We who live can't help but sometimes marvel at the world and paths that gave us the privilege of life.

Can I also recommend Anathem by Neal Stephenson? I think you would enjoy the book tremendously. It plays out into the future some of these same difficult and interesting moral and technological questions about society and progress.

Have a lovely holiday, friends!

Expand full comment

Glad you enjoyed it. My sister-in-law sent us a copy and I couldn't get into it.

Expand full comment

I loved this novel. It's one of the few books I've gone back and re-read, which is quite something considering how long it is. I'm surprised you didn't talk more about Boris in your review - he's the standout character for me, the one I really remember.

Expand full comment

This is one of my favorite novels. Her writing is so evocative that to this day when I hear Karma Police I am transported to a near-abandoned housing development in Vegas. I can almost feel the scorching heat. And I have a Goldfinch print hanging above my desk.

Expand full comment

I think you'd love Mark Helprin, his novels are so intelligent and gripping, deep and thoughtful. I highly recommend SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR to start.

Expand full comment

This is great. I did not finish reading Goodfinch but I do think about the parts that I have read and this is review makes me consider returning to the book. It was just too long for a Kindle read.

Expand full comment

Thanks for this. The Secret History is one of my favorite books (I’ve reread it multiple times over the past 3 decades!) but I couldn’t get into the Goldfinch. You convinced me to try again:)

Expand full comment

Loved this book! Could not put it down.

Expand full comment

Just bought it.

Expand full comment

Do you have any favorite works of fiction that portray physicians etc? If you are up for any 19th C Brit Lit. I love Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, the protagonist’s father is a doctor and another character is a naturalist. Middlemarch by George Elliot, Dr Lydgate is a fascinating character

Expand full comment

I’ve read the book twice and loved it both times.

Expand full comment

Absolutely adored her first book. She’s an excellent author

Expand full comment

Thank you for this! Will read the spoiler alert after I read the book. And as a 50 something year old who loves to write, how uplifting it was to read your conviction that perhaps the best is yet to come. Happy Thanksgiving!

Expand full comment