Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. (Good ol' Norm, always the charmer.) BOOK REVIEW: 'The Goldfinch' Follow Us ... is a 13-year-old New Yorker who survives a terrorist bomb in a museum. …) Finally you are released into the night air, drained and bewildered, wondering what that was all about. Over the summer Vanity Fair magazine set out to discover why the backlash against "The Goldfinch" was so forceful and sustained. “The Goldfinch” is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind. At one point it goes off on a hilarious tangent about how literary lions responded to Tom Wolfe's hugely hyped second novel, 1998's "A Man in Full," with the late Norman Mailer insisting that reading it was like having sex with a 300-pound woman: "Once she gets on top it's all over. Our literary standards were at stake. There is music. ". But for our purposes here, let's stick to "The Goldfinch": will it be remembered -- should it be remembered -- as 2014's book of the year? Have you read it? When it won the prestigious Pulitzer in April, some literary observers simply could not sit back and observe any longer. How will Theo get out of the latest untenable situation he's gotten himself into, and how will he grow up to become, to steal Wolfe's title phrase, a man in full? Nicole Kidman. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Will anyone be reading 700-page books in the next century? “The Goldfinch” would have been better as a mini-series, in which the writers and actors could really take the time to flesh out its clown car of characters. “So this one is fake.” “Well, no, it’s only fake if you try to pass it off as an original.” The idea of the doubles is very important in the scene. Time was, a handful of critics decided. Grown-up Theo’s face is remarkably smooth. As acclaimed screenwriter William Goldman puts it in "Adventures in the Screen Trade," his classic book about Hollywood: "There is no time in a screenplay where we can lose them. There are themes and feelings, like loss and grief and the love of beauty and the pleasures of taking drugs, smoking cigarettes and looking attractive. It's a big book with a lot going on in it, but its influence is not Dickens, not really, but movies. Prose has been accused of being unnecessarily nasty in her review, but she later insisted she had no choice but to put the knife in deep. When Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch was published in 2013, The New Yorker 's James Wood scathingly dismissed it as "a virtual baby." I didn’t read the book so the movie didn’t make a lot of sense. Here's how she finished the paragraph: "'The Goldfinch' far exceeds the expectations of those of us who've been waiting on Tartt to do something extraordinary again, ever since her debut novel, 'The Secret History,' came out in 1992. Subscribe to OregonLive. Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch," published late in 2013, was the novel everyone wanted to talk about this year. (Because see the other girl, the one he’s engaged to, is the sister of the kid he lived with after his mother got killed in the bombing, and then her mother. The thing is, many other critics pointed out the same flaws that Prose, Wood and Stein noted -- but they loved the book anyway. …), My name is John Crowley, and I’m the director of “The Goldfinch.” So in the scene, we have young Theo who is played by Oakes Fegley, who is in Hobie, who is played by Jeffrey Wright, in Hobie’s basement workshop, which is a place that restores antiques. Offered Francine Prose in The New York Review of Books: "Reading 'The Goldfinch,' I found myself wondering, 'Doesn't anyone care how something is written anymore?' Because movies keep going, going, going -- it's not like a novel where you can go back and reread a section or a paragraph.". Jeffrey Wright. Rated R. 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