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
Tartt's writing is, as usual, gripping. There were so many things I couldn't predict and kept wondering where this story could possibly go after X or Y happened. She sure knows how to keep a girl hooked!
I haven't but think he is a most excellent narrator. Really spot on with nuance and tone and loved how he could make the various voices sound so different from one another.
This really was a fanatastic book. It just went on too long in parts and I'm not sure I like the ending. It felt far too preachy and out of sync with the rest of the book.
"just couldn't get into it (sorry)"
I know this book is feted and I have listened to the whole thing to try and give it a chance. it is beautifully narrated and I can totally appreciate and respect the beauty of much of the descriptive narrative. But as a story designed to enthral, grip, excite, inspire, scare or shock me- it totally failed. I was bored throughout. Overly long descriptive passages merged together and I felt disconnected from the anti-hero and all his exploits. Not even the vibrant passages relating to the art interested me-it just left me totally bored and unable to appreciate the appeal. I love a good story but with this I could take it or leave it. I feel guilty writing this, I persevered to the end but would I recommend this book? Only if you want to fall asleep and learn about drugs. Beautifully narrated however.
It is beautifully narrated
Narration and production values
"Way too long!"
I loved the way Hoby was portrayed - he came across as very cosy and comforting. I hated the length of this book - no need and the story could have easily been told in half the time while still maintaining lots of good prose.
There is no ending - I wanted to know how it all worked out, but instead we got a bit of a preachy end I'm afraid. Very unsatisfying after hanging on in there for so many hours.
No - it was far too long. I started to enjoy it after about 2 hours, but by the time I got to 10-12 hours in, I was a bit bored. There is just too much unnecessary detail.
"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.
"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.
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