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
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"Narrator was suberb"
This is a very long book, and if I had read it myself, I think I may have found it a bit too heavy as there isn't that much action, although there is a great deal of food for thought. However the superb narrator, whose various accents are quite remarkable, totally nailed it. There's a lot of symbolism in this book, a lot of depth, and no doubt when I was studying English it could have kept me busy for many a day analysing the characters and plot. The way for instance it starts with the adult Theo 'imprisoned' in a hotel room, reflecting the situation of the goldfinch in his favourite painting (although to be honest, as the story progressed, I felt rather annoyed at this start, as it took so very long to reach it again). Neither Theo nor his best friend Boris is a particularly likeable character, but that is understandable, given their separately dreadful childhoods. Theo's post traumatic stress syndrome has clearly not been dealt with and this dominates the whole of his life, as he struggles to make his way. A very competent story, but definitely not light reading.
Donna's use of language kept me listening, she encapsulates shared human experience and draws you into her world with rare skill. I felt at times that there was a glut of description sometimes akin to a play manuscript but this was made up for by brilliant imagery and psychological understanding of the human condition.
Perhaps because as I get older I am more affected by the suffering of others, I found the book hard going a lot of the time. I was often hanging on desperate for hobee 's presence to scoop me up and protect me from all the drugs and self loathing. Thankfully the author realised some lovely characters were needed for us, like Theo, to cling to.
I gave it 4 stars because it was definitely one of the cleverest in terms of plot, the enigmatic goldfinch hovering over the action encouraging us to think metaphorically and connect themes. I loved the theories about art and the theme of restoration and ownership. I personally just felt too much time was spent in a drug induced stupor. I suppose that may often be the artist's life?
So in summary much to love, glad I listened to that wonderful narrator - astounding.
"Excellent story and very discriptive."
This was my first audio book, and what a fantastic way to start. Fabulous reaf.
"Riveting and beautifully narrated"
David Pittu made the experience extraordinary. Donna Tartt has written a magical, Dickensian masterpiece. I am about to holiday in New York and Las Vegas and it was perfect preparation for the holiday
"detailed and intense story"
This story was compelling and amazingly written but also hard work and nihilist. Felt it was an achievement to reach the end.
This wonderful and amazing book was quite beautifully read. An inspiring novel that kept me desperate for the next chapter.
"Moving and thoughtful"
I deliberately didn't read the blurb of this book before purchase; I chose to trust to the reviews (so no expectations).
I loved the delicate way the author puts through her points and counterpoints to arguments on life and love (and how to deal with loss of each) with the voices of her protagonists. The story itself was almost used to demonstrate the characters' commitment to their own views. The views themselves were shaped by the way life has mistreated them.
Some of the points were hammered home several times by various voices that seemed a little out of character at times. Also I got the feeling that the author was trying to persuade me that (from a certain viewpoint) substance usage was an acceptable (albeit destructive) life choice.
There was a lot of melancholy throughout; the author pushes the point home that life is not all roses and these low points make the happy times that much sweeter.
Certainly an entertaining read (and one out of my comfort zone of silly sci-fi nonsense).
"Superb narrator of an interesting story"
I have read this book, and it has been my least favourite of Tartt's novels. However, the audio version brought it alive, in ways I could not.
The narrators character voices were excellent, and his characterisation of Theo just perfect.
"Long but pretty enjoyable story"
Narrator was excellent, really enjoyed his work. Brought the story to life. Enjoyed the book too but I think it was a little too long.
This was over long and rather one-dimensional.
Some interesting characterisation and a good plot but the same or more might have been achieved with 1/3 of the words.
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