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The Goldfinch | [Donna Tartt]

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, October 2013 - It's already been an amazing season for literary fiction - you can't go wrong with a new Jhumpa Lahiri novel, and Dave Eggers and Amy Tan will also be hitting our virtual shelves soon - but Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is truly one of the most anticipated books of the fall. I confess that I haven't been able to dig into it yet, but the early reviews I'm hearing from trusted colleagues have moved The Goldfinch to the top of my listening list. Sure it's long (ahem, credit-worthy), but the commitment is worth it, with the same intense suspense and character development that made The Secret History, Tartt's debut, a modern classic. —Diana D., Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, Solo Narration - Male, 2014

Audie Award Winner, Literary Fiction, 2014

The author of the classic best-sellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel.

Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and at the center of a narrowing, ever-more-dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

©2013 Donna Tartt (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

Narrator David Pittu accepts the task of turning this immense volume into an excellent listening experience. Pittu portrays 13-year-old orphan Theo Decker with compassion, portraying his growing maturity in this story of grief and suspense…Pittu adds pathos to his depiction of the troubled Theo as he deals with addiction and finds himself in a dance with gangsters and the art world's darker dealers. (AudioFile)

"Dazzling....[A] glorious, Dickensian novel, a novel that pulls together all Ms. Tartt's remarkable storytelling talents into a rapturous, symphonic whole and reminds the reader of the immersive, stay-up-all-night pleasures of reading." (New York Times)

"A long-awaited, elegant meditation on love, memory, and the haunting power of art....Eloquent and assured, with memorable characters....A standout-and well-worth the wait." (Kirkus, Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (10807 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rachel McLoughlin Cambridge, MA 01-21-15
    Rachel McLoughlin Cambridge, MA 01-21-15

    Rachel McLoughlin

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great characters and story, but needs editing"

    Great character development and story. The philosophizing could have used some serious editing. The 771 pages were not all essential.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gunilla 01-20-15
    Gunilla 01-20-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Just awesome!"

    well written well read, a must hear. I listened to book untill my head spun and it is not the last time i enjoy listening to this fantastic story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Molloy 01-20-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Compelling"

    This was a great story. Very compelling with different twists. I enjoyed the art history and important American restoration details. Very interesting.
    Well narrated also. I was able to visualize the story settings and characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carmen Las Vegas, Nevada 01-20-15
    carmen Las Vegas, Nevada 01-20-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking"

    The Gold Finch is unlike any book I have ever read. Choosing to listen to this masterwork truly enhanced my enjoyment of the text. The line between right and wrong, love and hate, art and obscenity is so blurred in our lives that this story helps to illustrate the fragile nature of existence and reality. I am not sure what inspired this epic but I know it was likely a Devine inspiration. Thank Ms. Tarrt for forcing me to to stretch my mind and in turn touch my heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Johnson Troy, MI 01-20-15
    Patricia Johnson Troy, MI 01-20-15 Member Since 2011
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    123
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "story had potential, but got caught up in details"

    the story line had so much potential. the author got carried away with the details of how the main character thought. about half way in I had to up the speed to 1.5 to help speed up the boring details of what this kid/man was thinking.
    from the 14 year old boys thoughts with a concussion, to the 16 year old boys drug induced thoughts, to the 24 year old man's thoughts on drugs, women, and friendships; to the 25 year olds hour long fever thoughts, to the final morality spew at the end. I was so bored with how the main character thought and was hoping something would actually happen.
    the narrator was pretty good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane 01-19-15
    Diane 01-19-15
    ratings
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    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing Story,with Best Narration/Character Acting"

    Would recommend this to any adult, say 18+, as it can deal with some heavy and dark subject matter (heavy prescription and illegal drug use, Depression and Suicide, some minor violence. Just some dark themes within some characters. Narration is not the word to be used to describe the Masterful Character Acting that "Reader/Narrator" employs here. I really can't say enough of his skills, you'll just have take my word for it. Or better yet, download this Audible Book and listen for yourself. As for a favorite moment in the novel, there are so many, and to choose right now as Audible is asking for my review just as I finished the Book, I just can't off the top of my head. Besides, who wants to hear a "spoiler" in a review. My advice is downloading this Book by Audible, with this "Narrator" is well worth the investment. If you like fiction that will completely consume you into it, that is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Heard 01-19-15
    E. Heard 01-19-15 Member Since 2011

    Mom of Twins

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    64
    13
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Story
    "Great performance weak story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I'm glad I listened. Great narration.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The characters were not believable. Extreme drug use but still able to break an international art theft ring.


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

    The narrator did Them all well. Boris was the best.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele 01-18-15
    Michele 01-18-15
    ratings
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    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "oh no! I finished it ..."
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    I'm sure every reader has had this feeling ... a sense of some desolation and something 'missing' when you finish a really great book. This is how I felt after The Goldfinch. I felt like it started out slowly, and after a few hours, I couldn't stop listening. It is a fascinating story with some beautifully vibrant characters. By the time Theo leaves the museum, he becomes strapped into a rollercoaster of experiences, meeting a wide range of characters from rich and vapid to troubled and intense. Those characters come to life quite beautifully, and the narrator does a great job of playing out the story, with accents and inflection that adds to the telling. I am finding myself wondering what Theo (main character), Kitzie,
    Hobey, Pippa and Boris are doing NOW, and I'd love to read a sequel. Heart tugging moments, moments of nail-biting (yikes!) worry, U.S. and foreign travels, and characters young and old, dissipated., sinister or noble continue to develop in surprising ways throughout the story.


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

    i think Donna Tartt has been inspired by the Austen novels. Some of the characters' reflections and inner dialogue reminds me of the journals of Anais Nin.


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

    He is a superb narrator! I loved them all, but he did Boris so beautifully - accent, pacing - all of it!


    If you could take any character from The Goldfinch out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Hobey for his love of food and for an elder's wise life perspectives, Boris because he's always starving and eats SO appreciatively and converses so animatedly and Theo because I'd love to hear what he's doing now given all his life experiences.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm so sad it's over --well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Tokar 01-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    Story
    "Nice surprise"

    Loved it. A surprise ride through the life of this agreeable character. The road twists and turns and keeps you guessing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    terri 01-17-15
    terri 01-17-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not sure what to think"
    What did you like best about The Goldfinch? What did you like least?

    I am on chapter 9 and wondering when this book is going to take off.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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