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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 (230 )
5 star
 (118)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.2 (205 )
5 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 (207 )
5 star
 (138)
4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rebecca SOUTH HURSTVILLE, Australia 01-14-14
    Rebecca SOUTH HURSTVILLE, Australia 01-14-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
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    Story
    "Evocative performance"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Rambling, compelling, absorbing


    What other book might you compare The Goldfinch to and why?

    Although not similar in content, it brought to mind The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, for its rich characterisation, intricacy and detail of plot and extreme differences in locale (possibly also because the bulk of both books is set in New York).


    Which character – as performed by David Pittu – was your favorite?

    It's a toss up between Boris and Hobie.


    Any additional comments?

    David Pittu's performance was excellent. The characters all sounded distinct and his voice is very easy to listen to. That, added to Tartt's characterisation, created a book full of rich characters who were easy to picture.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Christchurch, New Zealand 07-27-15
    Jo Christchurch, New Zealand 07-27-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Second listen even better than the first"

    I loved this book so much. Although I knew the basic story line already, there were parts that seemed new to me. David Pittu does a great job with the narration and all the different accents

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kasper 05-19-15
    Kasper 05-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my favorite"

    Theo's life story is so dark so depressing and so filled with drama an bad life choices, that the book becomes less and less relatable for me. That being said, the performance is quite slow I listened at1,5x.
    I did like the introspective parts, where theo looks at what is happening and reflects

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Flamiatos Athens, Greece 05-06-15
    K. Flamiatos Athens, Greece 05-06-15

    mrmagenta

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
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    8
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What was all this about?"

    It starts and ends OK but all in between is for no reason. Is how America discovers the meaning of life after years and years of consumerism and drug use? I am confused. Also the narration is nice but too sssssslooooooow. I listened to it at 2x speed and some times at 3x.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Di 04-29-15
    Di 04-29-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fantastic engaging story"

    This book was absolutely divine I loved every minute of it I have read all of Donna Tarts books they are so engaging full of intrigue and the unexpected

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Vanderzon 04-28-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely a great book"

    Great narrator and a perfect story. I'm even a little sad I finished the book. Probably will read it again someday.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelly 03-15-15
    kelly 03-15-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great story"

    Not what I expected at all. A very enjoyable story. I would recommend this book.

    Not too impressed with narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole 01-24-15
    Carole 01-24-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Review goldfinch"

    I'm not a great fan of the American accent however the narration was compelling. Couldn't stop listening. Why am I being forced to write a minimal number of words

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 11-30-14
    Samantha 11-30-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, particularly because the performance of the narrator was so good


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved James Hobart ("hobie"). A kind and wonderful man.


    Which character – as performed by David Pittu – was your favorite?

    Without doubt Boris. David did a sensational job of portraying Boris.


    If you could rename The Goldfinch, what would you call it?

    I'm not that smart


    Any additional comments?

    A really great book, well written, well performed, I loved it from start to (nearly) finish. I did find the finish a bit messy, like the author just wanted to wrap it up,the most disappointing part of the whole book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Padmaja 10-27-14
    Padmaja 10-27-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Of art and the artful!"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Riveting, philosophical, lifelike!


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

    Mrs Barber's 'goodbye' to Theo when he moves to Vegas, Hobie's reaction to Theo's betrayal, Boris's attempts to reclaim the painting


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

    I had never heard him before but cannot believe anyone could be so brilliantly creative. He smoothly manages to move from Andy's character to Boris's accent, to Mrs Barber's class act to Hobie's honest-to-goodness manner ... Amazing! His reading made the book smooth sailing!


    If you could rename The Goldfinch, what would you call it?

    The Artists


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyed the summing up at the end: seems true that excess desire for an object can make you do things you normally wouldn't. It can take over your life ...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Petra
    Tewkesbury, United Kingdom
    6/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly gripping story"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was one of the most enjoyable performances I listened to recently - certainly among the top 5.
    The story starts with an utterly mesmerising account of a bomb explosion in a New York Museum. In that explosion, the young protagonist loses his mother but gains an artwork and a love that will haunt his life. To say more would spoil everything, but you'll be hooked from the start. The characters are fascinating, utterly believable and the plot engrossing if just this side of believable - whenever you think it couldn't get worse, it does. Much here revolves around friendship and love, greed and commitment, money and drugs, class and exclusion.


    What other book might you compare The Goldfinch to, and why?

    The plot and characters feel Dickensian - the motherless child, the stolen artwork, the unattainable love, an artful dodger as best friend, bad company, avuncular protectors, upper class people whom one ends up pitying…. The ending is disappointing, as if Tartt couldn't quite work out how to get her man out of the story, and the genre slides into some absurd thriller-like writing that felt rather forced. However, what comes before the final hour is absolutely worth listening to.The Goldfinch is the title of a painting whose fate is tied up with that of the protagonist, and as such this device is reminiscent of Henry James (in The Wings of the Dove or The Golden Bowl). But the writing couldn't be more unlike the prose of the later James - clear, sharp, and well-paced.


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

    This was my first encounter with Pittu. The performance contributes much to making this book engrossing: the characters become real and the accents add so much to the characterisation. It's a wonderful achievement.


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

    The protagonist stumbles from one loss to the next, first the mother, then his love, then his best friend, but some of these can be regained… Leaving his mother's flat behind and discovering the truth about his father is the most painful bit, and rendered very poignantly.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a flawed novel - the ending really wobbles - but characterisation and plotting are handled masterfully. Thoroughly enjoyable. A real storyteller or a writer.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • stephanie
    chiswick, london United Kingdom
    3/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To long"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Shorten it, there were so e parts of the book that went on and on for to long


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Boris.


    Did The Goldfinch inspire you to do anything?

    Not to get messed up on drugs.


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyed the actual story it was just much to long and parts like his life in Vegas were very repetitive and I kept waiting for more to happen to him whilst he was there. Didn't like the ending much, it suddenly seemed rushed after such a long time getting there. Did love the narration .

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • walter
    4/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    As an exploration of trauma, moral minefields and the transformative qualities of art its genius. Though the long subjective journey may upset some folks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs F.
    4/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gold star for The Goldfinch"

    I would give 6 stars! David Pittu narrates brilliantly. Fabulous story with many twists. I would highly recommend this book, better than my expectations of it and don't be put off by the length.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kerry Mc Kenna
    4/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awe inspiring"

    A truly glorious novel of quite a remarkable story that can only but permanently touch the heart and soul of the reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A. K. Mills
    London
    3/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, expertly read"

    Boris stands alongside some of the greatest characters in the history of fiction. Extremely memorable. This book was a very addictive listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Frank Hammond
    3/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great story well told."

    One of the best books that I have read with a compelling storyline and well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anon
    UK
    3/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Glad I bought it"

    Lengthy listen, but has kept me entertained throughout. Will probably listen again at some point in the future. Excellent narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    3/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding! Buy it straight away!"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    Yes, I loved it! I'd want to go on the journey again with Theo.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Boris, a fabulous creation - charismatic, wild, dangerous yet all heart.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The reunion between Boris and the dog!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Wadebridge, United Kingdom
    3/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great Listen"
    What did you like most about The Goldfinch?

    I loved the sensitivity of the writing, the childhood time of the main character, written with such beauty and realism in my view. I loved the way the story grew through the chapters and how there was such great depth to it. Full of great characters and I learned a lot about art too! Bonus, the descriptive writing of the painting was poetry to me.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character, he was flawed and believable.


    Which character – as performed by David Pittu – was your favourite?

    the lead character, but a close second was his best friend.


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

    Very much so it, made me laugh and cry. I didn't want him to grow up, I wasn't sure the author could hold my attention with the character as an adult, but there was no need to worry, he was just as captivating.


    Any additional comments?

    A superb listen. I highly recommend this book to both male and female readers. Great author, I look forward to reading more of this authors work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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