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
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
"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.
"Did not want it to end!"
This is the best book that I have read (listened to) in years. The story line is so varied covering many different places, plots surprises etc.. The narrator was perfect for this story excellent at the different accents. I have since purchased three hard back copies for friends, hoping they shall enjoy it as much as I have,.
"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.
"slow burner but gets there in the end"
You need to persevere with it as after the initial bomb blast, the first half is very slow, but does build towards the end.
The main character is very believable.
I did like his accents, especially the Russian ones. He was able to bring the different characteristics to life, not just with the accent, but with the timbre and expression in his voice.
No! it's way too long, and I think you'd lose the will to live as there is a lot of drug taking throughout and the narrative meanders somewhat.
The end was a little hurried. I only gave it 5 stars as it left me a little deflated.
"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.
"Best book I ever listened to!"
There is not a word wrong, I was utterly sucked in, living the book, loving the characters with all my heart! It was a wonderful story, so moving and so many intriguing lines drawn concerning history, art, suffering, longing, families, belonging..... I get the dickens comparison but also though there was some jack kerouac in there.
Boris and Zandra. I loved the narrators accents, made me really fond of them.
I have never heard anything else but he was incredible. Perfect.
Yes! But it was a great long book to spread over a couple of weeks.
Overwhelmed with how fantastic this book and its performance is. So pleased to have experienced it.
"Far too slow moving for me."
I know loads of people adore this book and Donna Tartt fans will love it. However, I found the descriptions weighed down the book and took any pace and urgency out of it. The narrator went on constant mind meanders, thinking about this and thinking about that before he got to the point. I was intrigued by the premise of the story and the tension was set up well at the beginning of the book, but forward motion was so slow in terms of moving the plot forwards. I didn't particularly enjoy Tartt's writing, as in, I wasn't content to listen to her write and write about all sorts before she got to the point of her story, so I abandoned ship and didn't finish it.
"Excellent story but very very long"
The story was good but much too long. Tons of description so that you get weighed down by it.
"Unlikable main character - slow and dreary"
Very little happens, so this book should be a lot shorter. I'm about 2/3 through it and I could easily sum up the story so far in 1 or 2 sentences.
Secondly, the author over uses metaphors and similes, sometimes using several in the same sentence. It''s a bit much TBH, and it doesn't come over well in audiobook format IMHO.
Thirdly, the main character is just annoying. He doesn't do obvious things that any normal person would do. I guess you're supposed to feel sorry for him, and I did for a while, but eventually his repeated screwing up (despite apparently being a genius with a top education) begins to annoy you.
My wife recommended this book to me, she said it's the best book she's ever read, so obviously some people will enjoy it. I think she liked the way things are described in flowery language, I don't mind a bit of that, but it was way overdone for my taste.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
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