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
Struggled to finish this dark, miserable story that only got worse towards the end. Don't waste 32h listening to this prescribed depression. Sorry, I really expected something spell binding after reading other reviews. Only reason I finished it is that I don't tend to quit on books.
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
25YO psychologist, interested in Neuroscience, Neuropsychology and History.
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
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.
Yes, particularly because the performance of the narrator was so good
I loved James Hobart ("hobie"). A kind and wonderful man.
Without doubt Boris. David did a sensational job of portraying Boris.
I'm not that smart
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.
Riveting, philosophical, lifelike!
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
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!
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 ...
"Completely swept up with The Goldfinch"
I use Audible to listen to books I know I wouldn't actually read. This is a great example. I would have been put off by the hype, the length, and grisly opening section - and I would have missed what was, for me, a great book.
I have never read any of her other (I think only two...?) books, so I can make no comparisons.
This book ticked a lot of boxes for me: long (very); meandering, and with changes of setting - New York, Vegas, Amsterdam, back to NY.
The subject - well it's hard to say. It is a chronological story, beginning with a horrific incident that totally shapes Theo's life. The painting of The Goldfinch lives this life with him, it is (he thinks) always there. It's a story of loss, mental illness, drug use, art, love and especially, I think, of enduring friendship.
The best parts for me happen as Theo is older and returns to NY. I also loved the character of Boris, but I would say that all the characters were very well drawn and lived vividly in my imagination - except, oddly, Theo himself. Sometimes, he seemed so contradictory.
I was anxious throughout the book - low-level sense of menace and a feeling, that I suppose Theo always lived with - of something 'bad' about to happen. And, a lot of bad things DO happen to him. And some good things, too.
I think the book is very layered. You can read it as a story - and it's a great story; or you can try and see the layers. I think I did both, because it's the sort of book that stays on in your mind after it ends.
The ending (this isn't a spoiler) is fairly satisfactory but also, the very end of the book does drift a little. But basically we know the main outcome. I wanted more closure - not for Theo, but for the other main characters.
The narration was faultless. It added so much to the book.
I was very sorry to finish it.
"A good listen"
The book is overlong, and its ending anticlimactic. I loved the opening section describing what happens at the museum but the pace lags thereafter and never regains that initial excitement with its emotive punch. Main character Theo Decker is too self-centred and unsympathetic to spend such a long time in his POV, and his youthful sophistication and precociousness didn't ring true to me, very much a case of an older, wiser narrative voice imposing on his earlier self which comes off as pretentiousness. Increasingly I was drawn to the charming miscreant Boris who is by far the more interesting character. I would love to read more about him whereas I have heard more than enough from Theo. The main problem I had, though, is that it felt out of period, i.e. as though the story takes place in the 60s or 70s rather than 00s so when things such as mobile phones and laptops are referenced they were jarring.
Seems to fizzle out, and my attention drifted away. To be honest I was surprised by how positive the ending turns out to be.
The narration of this book is exceptionally well done and held my attention for the most part. I particularly enjoyed how David Pittu brings individual characters to life with distinctive accents. Somehow I doubt I would have enjoyed the book as much if I had read rather than listened to it.
I had never heard of Fabritius or his painting of the Goldfinch before listening to this book and Tartt certainly crafts a good story around this work that has profound things to say about the role of art and precious objects to human experience and providing a link between past/present. As a coming of age story it works despite problems I had with main character Theo. The parts of the story dealing with drug use and addiction rang true, the criminal gang aspects not so much, however, like something out of a bad movie.
I liked Tartt's writing about antiques and old furniture, and the character Hobie with his lovingly crafted reproduction pieces. I don't think it was necessary to give Theo an unattainable and unsatisfactory female love interest when there is such a well developed relationship between Theo and Boris.
"Well worth the long wait"
Riveting, surprising, satisfying
Hobie, because he is always there for Theo no matter how catastrophic Theo's behaviour and actions become
Theo because we see him grow and develop from a boy to a man in the course of the book
No I wanted to make it last and last
This is a long book and parts of it are hard to hear as Theo goes from being a loved and protected boy to a miserable, drunken, drug addicted, deceived and deceiving young adult - all driven by the insane desire to own a small painting of a little captive bird. In a way Theo is as trapped by fate as the bird in the picture he loves so much.
"Tour de Force"
This book would have taken some stamina to read rather than hear but David Pittu gives a superb performance. The somewhat lengthy navel gazing passages are made accessible and meaningful thanks to his careful treatment of the text.
The story is inherently interesting but Theo, about whom the story develops, could easily have become a bit of a bore without the superb characterisation of the narrator.
I doubt this will be to everyone's taste but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"Best Listen of the Year"
I have just finished the Goldfinch and life can now get back to normal.
This is an utterly compelling listen with beautiful writing and a sensitive performance.
The novel deals with profound themes of love and loss and the nature of reality. It is also very engaging on a narrative level, with an exciting story with many unexpected twists and threads which weave together over the course of 32 mesmerising hours. Although very long, my interest never wained and the book never felt over long or too detailed. The sense of time and place is amazing and it is possible to become totally involved in the book and suspend disbelief entirely.
"A month of bliss to listen to."
This is by far the longest audio book I have ever listened to - 32 hours BUT superbly narrated and the most captivating story. I think one gains enormously by listening to this book rather than reading it. Firstly it is a big book to carry around - 700+ pages and some reviewers have commented that the key Russian character Boris's dialect is difficult to read easily. Well, in the audible version to get to meet Boris in all his glory - splendid. My next door neighbour is Russian so I can that David Pittu is spot on! This is a wonderful, wonderful book.
Shorten it, there were so e parts of the book that went on and on for to long
Not to get messed up on drugs.
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 .
"Very Existentialist. Meaning of life & all that"
Incredible metaphor & prose. Incredible a woman writer can write so eloquently from a man's perspective. Bit too long; but I was still sad to finish it in the end. Very much a story for those who think deeply of & worry about " is there any personal meaning" to ones being alive? And when life is a struggle, lonely, painful is it worth fighting on? For what? That kind of genre. Could be a bit depressing for those who experience that their affluence, success, or whatever still leaves a hollow that cannot be filled.
"Extremely slow and laborious story telling"
Whilst the story itself is not uninteresting, all the events unfold so slowly and with such lengthy narrative that I found myself continually saying from frustration: "Get on with it!" In the end I found I had little sympathy, or indeed any patience for Theo, the main character. I don't mind a long story, but what felt like the endless narrative took away from the plot and by about half way through it wasn't difficult to determine where the plot was leading.
The secondary characters and their stories are well created and interesting. Unfortunately they weren't enough though.
As an exploration of trauma, moral minefields and the transformative qualities of art its genius. Though the long subjective journey may upset some folks.
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