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The Goldfinch

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction 2014

Longlisted – Baileys Women’s Prize 2014

Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2013

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

©2013 Tay Ltd (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (157 )
5 star
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Overall
4.2 (141 )
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Story
4.5 (143 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Katie Price
    London, London United Kingdom
    4/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great writing, great reading"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    The characterisation achieved by the reader is amazing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters stand out and are perfectly portrayed by author and narrator


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    At the scenes of highest tension, I had to steel myself to carry on listening. The outcome for characters becomes very real!


    Any additional comments?

    Tartt's writing is incredibly evocative across a wide range of characters, settings and events. Loved the sections set in New York, particularly. The narrator could not have done a better job in bringing it all alive: I can see almost every scene clearly in my head.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A. McKechnie
    UK
    4/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overall very good but too long!"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    No, I may read the printed book so I can skip certain passages and re-read others. Some of the descriptive passages go on and on and on and the characters seem to do the same things over and over.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Goldfinch?

    I think the most memorable moments are the descriptions of the characters that Theo encounters on his journeys.


    Have you listened to any of David Pittu’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    It was very good overall especially the Russian character, but it would have been a lot better if he had bothered to get the Dutch accents right. They sounded like they were from some imaginary country. Really annoying as that part of the book felt very artificial.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It did make me want to go to The Hague to see the painting for myself.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is overlong and it is annoying how Donna Tartt portrays female characters as incidental, almost as caricatures. As a woman writing through a male narrator sometimes the perception of the world doesn't quite ring true. There are a few major holes in the plot which are not cleared up.

    Nothing happens for large parts of the book then suddenly a dramatic climax and the find seemed really rushed as if she was not quite sure how to finish it. Her description of Amsterdam and in particular the speech and personsality of the minor Dutch characters did not seem authentic, like she had never been there.

    One of the characters from The Secret appears in the book - but doesn't speak and there is no description - I would have liked to have heard a little bit about him.

    Overall though it was a very good book. The comparison to Dickens is justified.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kmac
    4/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flawless - a world you will not want to leave"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    As possibly the only person on the planet who didn't love The Secret History, I approached this book with some caution. But I adored it. The narrator adds to the experience infinitely. He is simply marvelous. The perfect choice. The story itself is one of those very rare gems that truly envelops you - it creates a world you don't want to leave. I found myself trying to sneak my headphones on at work just to go back into Theo's world. I wish I could go back to the point where I had not listened to this book, and do it all over again!


    What does David Pittu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    David Pittu is marvelous. I will definitely look for other titles he has narrated.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zoey
    London, United Kingdom
    4/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    I'm sorry, everyone else loves this book, I chose it from the recommended reads, all good things reported BUT for me it was really rather boring. Not enough happened in the long long long hours and there was too much thinking and talking to himself and not quite enough action for my liking.

    I loved the premise and the character of Boris who was ever so real and the author explained Theo's childhood very well but once an adult it really dragged and I couldn't wait for it to end. Became a bit of a chore truth be told, but on a positive note I did finish it and resisted swapping it for another credit.

    It is well written and the narrator was good, I just didn't like the content so I won't recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    United Kingdom
    4/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Life Unrolled"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, It is a compelling story describing the life of the central character. The setbacks he encounters, and the people he meets makes the tale both interesting and exciting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Goldfinch?

    When he unwrapped the package and found something completely different to the article he expected to see


    What does David Pittu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A very sympathetic reading with the characters clearly defined


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Regretably too long for one sitting but definitely a book I couldn't wait to get back to.


    Any additional comments?

    "If ever made into a film I suggest Michael Gambon should play the part of "Hobi" he is made for the role.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alexandra
    Dorset, UK
    4/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An epic, absolutely a book not to be missed"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It was fantastically narrated, the book has an interesting way with time, slow, fast, slow type of thing, though I did find the 2nd section of the book a bit slow for my taste.... maybe because I was absolutely furious with the writer for the twist that comes at that point, I was listening in my car and never before have I felt so furious with an author for what they do to their characters. And considering that was only at the end of the first part of the audio book, and there were another 3 to go, it just shows how hooked I became. Give it a go.... its brilliantly written.


    Have you listened to any of David Pittu’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, not listened to any others, but his narration was almost faultless.... just once or twice in 32 hours did I get distracted by the way he pronounced or pitched his voice. His portrayal of the difference voices was FABULOUS. Accents were amazing. So I would certainly look for books he narrates.


    Any additional comments?

    The ending wasn't quite as strong as it might have been, but maybe that is after so much drama it seems a little flat. Just before the ending (the part in Amsterdam) got a bit much and slightly unbelievable. But in a long, long book like this who can get every single bit right?!But listening to this book was something I just couldn't stop doing. I was hooked, and I hope you will be too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steven
    Rugby, United Kingdom
    4/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly compelling"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    An incredible story which is totally convincing. A powerful central character I did not like very much but could not tear myself away from. And a catalogue of broadly depressing events and circumstances but ultimately an uplifting experience. Plus art.


    What did you like best about this story?

    For a story which is so long in the telling, based on a simple premise and revolving around an essentially and sympathetic if not deliberately dim witted central character it is surprising how much you care about the characters and want to know what happens to them. And then there's the art.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    He brings all the separate main characters to life without excessive accentuation


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No way


    Any additional comments?

    This is a novel with a somewhat parabolic story curve. It starts quietly then build up to a powerful middle but ends on something of a dramatic low note.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K. Ormiston
    UK
    4/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Yeuch"
    What would have made The Goldfinch better?

    To have something endearing about the main boy


    What could Donna Tartt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Halved it's length?


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I liked the narrator


    What character would you cut from The Goldfinch?

    The Russian boy


    Any additional comments?

    This annoyed me so much I didn't even finish listening to it. I found I didn't care what happened to the painting or the boy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amandine
    Harrogate, United Kingdom
    4/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very good book"
    What did you like most about The Goldfinch?

    The story was really good and I wanted to know more about each characters. Some descriptions were a bit too long though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Norwich., United Kingdom
    4/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb!"

    I really loved this. Don't be put off by the length, the narration is extraordinarily good and the story is great. The characters are really brought to life and have stayed with me since!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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