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The Goldfinch | [Donna Tartt]

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

4.2 (210 )
5 star
 (106)
4 star
 (68)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (186 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (187 )
5 star
 (123)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • DENISE
    BEXLEYHEATH, United Kingdom
    7/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Wonderful story. Brilliant narrator , I didn't want it to finish, need a continuation - book 2 ??

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A. Hunt
    Glasgow, Scotland
    7/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"

    Another really great listen, and well narrated. This story carried me along from the very first, and I was sad and missed it when I got to the end.
    There are hundreds of excellent reviews of this superb novel, so I won't embark on a longer description of the book, but it's worth noting how well it works in audio.
    This must have been a hell of a task for the narrator, never mind the author!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stamford
    London, UK
    7/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely but way too long"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It is just too long. I know you shouldn't judge a book by length, but, boy, does this one drag on and on in the middle with nothing of consequence happening. You could skip about 20 hours of it and miss nothing. Las Vegas, the Barbours, even the furniture stuff – all irrelevant really.


    Would you recommend The Goldfinch to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, but just listen to the first couple of hours and maybe the last six or seven. New York and Amsterdam.


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

    Narrator is great.


    Was The Goldfinch worth the listening time?

    For about 10 hours. Other 22 frustratingly rambling and irrelevant.


    Any additional comments?

    Although it's too long I did enjoy The Goldfinch. But for once I would have preferred an abridged version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    Lincoln, United Kingdom
    7/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I thought this was an interesting read."
    What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

    This is not like most books in which you can predict the next line. The author has made a great job in writing a book which makes you want to know what happens next.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hoby was my favourite character, probably because I could visualise him more.


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

    An interesting voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not really I was enthralled at every move in the story


    Any additional comments?

    It seems a long story but do not be put off by the length it is well worth listening to and I would believe at any age group.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jenny
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    7/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too long and drawn out"
    Would you try another book written by Donna Tartt or narrated by David Pittu?

    No


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    The over descriptive narrative just went on too long.


    Did David Pittu do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    Yes his accents were very good


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    At the very end when you finally got there, you learned a bit about the painting


    Any additional comments?

    I did not enjoy the story, far to depressing with no hope of redemption for the main character not an uplifting book at all. Nearly gave up a few times but saw it through to the end and I was so glad when the book finally ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • izabelski
    London
    7/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unmissable"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    amazingly written story


    What did you like best about this story?

    Boris, the narrator made him sound so alive.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    When Andy, the main character moves back to New York. His travel back on the coach.


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

    It took me 8 days to listen to it. I didn't want to finish.


    Any additional comments?

    When I read my books which are good I straight away have in my mind all characters and scenes and this time from page one I had that happen to me.
    I am going to visit Hague soon to see the original Goldfinch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • DT
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How to follow Secret History & Little Friend?"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Intriguing Excessive Impressive


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Disappointing


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    He caught all of the characters, male and female.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It isn't that kind of novel (see below)


    Any additional comments?

    Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch is a remarkable novel, in the noteworthy sense of the word. It is certainly not a "turkey" or a “Harry Potter tribute novel”, to cite highly critical reviews by, respectively, Peter Kemp and Julie Myerson. But neither is The Goldfinch a successful novel. Its proportions are curious. There is a story, that of Theo Decker and the 1654 painting by Carel Fabritius entitled The Goldfinch, and a cast of memorable characters, particularly the fascinating Boris, whom Theo meets in a bildungsroman form. The story takes readers from Amsterdam to New York City to Las Vegas, back to New York after a Jack Kerouac-like journey by Theo and Popchick, a small fluffy dog, on to Amsterdam, and concluding in New York. Gangsters, high-school capers during which Theo is re-named "Potter", art-theft, an orphan's progress or regress. One would think this gripping enough to satisfy any fan of Tartt’s first two novels, The Secret History and The Little Friend. Yet, the story is curiously static and Theo/Potter at the end of this 771-page novel seems no different from the boy of 14 years earlier. Ditto Boris. More than this, though: it is the full and incredibly well-informed description of "incidents of virtually no significance" to the story that interrupts the onward movement of the story. Objects of highbrow, middlebrow and lowbrow culture, alike, receive paragraphs of minute and fascinating description. Herman Melville mystified the first few generations of readers of Moby Dick with a comparable mix of story and description and, therefore, The Goldfinch is in renowned company. However, Melville brings the mix of elements together at the end of Moby Dick, whereas Tartt relies on some routine, even clichéd, assertions about the importance of art to bring her novel to an end, a conclusion which does justice to neither her story nor her arresting catalogue of contemporary culture. But, still, it is a remarkable novel which I expect I will re-read at some point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lynn
    Stoke By Nayland, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This takes you to places you have never been."
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    I would gladly listen again, it was such an unusual story.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    Liked the versatility of David, didn't get bored with his characters


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

    I got more engrossed as I went along, and ended up listening every chance I had.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Penelope Plum
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An absolutely excellent listen!"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Gripping, exciting and emotional


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

    When Theo returns home


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

    He brought the characters to life!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Theo's date - you will know what I mean


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • lucinda
    FAREHAM, United Kingdom
    7/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "5 chapters in and not for me"
    Would you try another book written by Donna Tartt or narrated by David Pittu?

    yes


    Would you ever listen to anything by Donna Tartt again?

    yes


    What didn’t you like about David Pittu’s performance?

    it was fine


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    just didn't hook me


    Any additional comments?

    Not saying its a bad book, just not for me

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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