Sunday, January 5, 2014

the last book I ever read (The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, excerpt one)

from Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch:

I could have killed him. Nervously, I glanced at the empty doorway. Then I dug my hands deeper in my pockets and—face burning—walked conspicuously across the length of the gallery. The clock was ticking; my mother would be back any second; and though I knew I didn’t have the nerve to barge up and actually say something, I could at the very least get a good look at her. Not long before, I had stayed up late with my mother and watched Citizen Kane, and I was very taken with the idea that a person might notice in passing some bewitching stranger and remember her for the rest of his life. Somebody I too might be like the old man in the movie, leaning back in my chair with a far-off look in my eyes, and saying: “You know, that was sixty years ago, and I never saw that girl with the red hair again, but you know what? Not a month has gone by in all that time when I haven’t thought of her.”

I was more than halfway across the gallery when something strange happened. A museum guard ran across the open doorway of the exhibition shop beyond. He was carrying something in his arms.

The girl saw it, too. Her golden-brown eyes met mine: a startled, quizzical look.

Suddenly another guard flew out of the museum shop. His arms were up and he was screaming.

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