Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.11: Criminals in Fiction and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

Note: We each received a copy of this ebook from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This week we talk about what makes a good criminal in fiction before reviewing Donna Tartt’s new book The Goldfinch. We then play a game involving jailed authors. You can listen to the podcast in the embedded player below or download the file directly here to take with you on the go.

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Or if you wish, you can find us on iTunes (and if you enjoy the podcast, give us a good rating! We will appreciate it very very much).

Starting at 1:07 – What makes a good fictional criminal? Randon and the Jennys discuss the qualities that make or break criminals in fiction, although there is no taxonomy of the week. We actually had a weirdly hard time thinking of fictional criminals! Can you think of more?

Starting at 17:09 – We review Donna Tartt’s new book The Goldfinch. It is a very long book, but we implore you not to be daunted! It’s an excellent book, and I want you to be exposed to one of my new favorite characters in all of literature, Theo’s Russian friend Boris.

29:00 – Whiskey Jenny very, very, very much minds about the painting having been stolen. She was clutching her hair while shrieking about the stress of this. You will not that we are not just saying it: Whiskey Jenny really does appreciate following rules. And so do I. We are two extremely law-abiding women.

38:00 – I truly, truly believe this. My guidance counselor in second grade (I swear to God, her name was Ms. Cozy) told us that only boring people get bored, which is not true when you’re in second grade, but is probably true in adulthood when you have the internet. The world is so full of a number of things, we may not all be as happy as kings but seriously it is not that difficult to find things to occupy your time.

39:15 – 41:17 – ENORMOUS SPOILERS about the ending of the book. Skip these sections if you do not want to know the ending of the book.

Starting at 42:01 – GAME TIME! In this game, we learn about authors who went to jail. In particular, I learn some alarming truths about Thomas Malory, author of Le Morte d’Arthur. Did you know? He was a violent criminal! (Oh, but by the way, the Thomas Malory who did all the crimes may not have been the same Thomas Malory who wrote Le Morte d’Arthur. History doesn’t know.)

Starting at 49:54 – Whiskey Jenny recommends that we read Rainbow Rowell’s book Eleanor and Park for the next podcast. I am painfully excited about this. Y’all have all loved it so much, and I want to love it also! I want to be in the loving it club!

Starting at 51:19 – We each highlight a book we’re excited to read! I talk briefly about Brightness Falls from the Air, by James Tiptree Jr, which y’all know I am pleased about. And Whiskey Jenny briefly discusses Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda, a book I sort of suspect she will end up hating.

Starting at 53:49 – Closing remarks and outro

Producer: Captain Hammer
Photo credit: andreybl / / CC BY-NC-ND
Song is by Jeff MacDougall and comes from here.

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  • I finally caught up and had a chance to listen today! I’m totally obsessed with The Goldfinch, so I adored this. Of course, I’m in love with Boris and had so many of the same feelings throughout the book.

    • Gin Jenny

      Boris is the best. I forced Whiskey Jenny to watch The In-Laws last night just so she could appreciate how much like Boris Peter Falk is in that movie. :p

  • Soooo happy to have looked again & found I can save things here for my player! Am catching up now!

    • Gin Jenny

      Yay! I hope you are enjoying it! 🙂

  • I am waaay behind with your podcasts. But I want to give you a massive hug for telling me that Thomas Malory MIGHT not be the same Thomas Malory. That would be nice…

    • Gin Jenny

      Wouldn’t it? Let’s hope that we get to heaven and find out it was two different fellows.

  • sarahjane

    Chortle! Thanks so much for the great conversation re The Goldfinch. I’ve got my monthly book club meeting in three hours and hadn’t QUITE finished it [loving it though] and you have helped me immensely. Thank you! Will be tuning in to your chats in future. Cheers! A grateful Aussie in UAE. 🙂

    • Gin Jenny

      Thanks! 🙂 We’re glad you enjoyed the podcast — how did the book club end up going? Was a good time had by all? Most important question: Did everyone love Boris?