There are a lot of negative reviews of The Goldfinch out there from those who find contrarian delights in raging against the literary machine. There are accusations of juvenility and uninventive language. Props to them for their reluctance to accept a well-acclaimed book simply because it is well-acclaimed, but in this case, they’re just bitter. The book makes us take a juvenile seriously, and any moments of cliche (“tip of the iceberg,” for example) add an element of conversation and authenticity.
Take this as a clearly biased report from Camp Goldfinch. “Think for yourself; question authority,” as the great band Tool advises, but read the book. You’ll decide.
Here is a much better synopsis than my own from the New York TImes‘ Book Review.