Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2014
Audie Award Finalist, 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
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)
I'm a singer, songwriter, musician, producer and music educator. I've spent the majority of my life wearing headphones . . .
The first third of this book is absolutely stupendous . . . and as brilliant everybody says it is.
But . . . when the hero moves back to New York and grows up, the story turns to mush and gets very, very boring. I can't tell you about how this tale ends because I stopped listening, though I will probably get back to it, eventually . . . for now . . . color me disappointed.
I have worked so hard for so long that I've had very little time to read. Enter iPhone4; now an earbud has cut driving time while I enjoy!!!
Well, actually, the plot, per se`, was not poor; it just took a VERY long time to get there. I kept thinking, "OK, SOMETHING is going to happen! So, I held on, and on, and on...well, you get the picture...Then, about 1 hour or so before the very end of the story was the crescendo, moving me to tears, and I thought "Yes, Yes!" And, so, the story should have ended there, except the author kept going on, and on and ON...
...until the very heart of the story was overshadowed. It was like those boring email jokes that didn't know when to stop.
If it had not been for the reader I would have left by the 2nd or 3rd part, so I MUST say I was very entertained.
Love internet shopping, from audio books to nail polish to silk scarves. Audible & Amazon are my go to places.
I am into the second of the 5 Audible 'chapters' of this book and am fascinated by the authors intricate storytelling as well as the narrators ability with different voices.
We all know a narrator can make or break a novel. David Pittu has met this challenge wonderfully. He reads the novel, one that is full of details and different people, with glory and imagination.
This is my first Donna Tartt book and I'm sure I'll be listening to her other novels, if this is typical of her. I love long novels, and also enjoy novels with lots of personal information about the characters. Donna Tartt supplies these with the same enthusiasm as Rosamund Pilcher or Diana Galbendon do in their novels, though this is a totally different type of story as either of the mentioned authors write, the feelings brought forth in their stories are full of details that truly flesh out the primary characters thoughts, feelings and views.
I've read many of the Amazon reviews and mentioned so frequently is the length, the length,the length of the novel.
SO What!! It's a long book..it took Tartt 7 years to give birth to the book and develop the story. Shes not a brief writer, apparently, I say "Good For Her."
The great thing about Audible is we can listen anytime, in the car, doing housework, walking the dog..or as I am this evening at 9PM. Not involved in some inane reality TV program. Instead I have the unmitigated pleasure of listening to a wonderful book that lets me use my imagination to view the scene that Tartt write with such ability.
Well worth your credit!
The narrator gives life to the main character. His voice is both innocent and worldly.
Theo Decker the main character is a tragic hero, but the reader cannot help but identify with his foibles.
I would love to have Boris as a dinner companion because of his voracious and indomitable appetite for life.
I am still thinking about the book, and it has been a week since I finished it. It is one of those rare books one considers a companion. It left me thinking about deeper questions of life.
I spent the entire book waiting for it to get started. It was painfully slow, nauseatingly long and very unsatisfying. The description should be : enduring tragedy by resorting to a drug induced stupor that spans decades. The only character that was remotely likable was Hoby who had not near enough presence in the story line to save this depressing tale of woe. If you give it a try, you are in for a long haul that leaves you unsatisfied.
A riveting story but ultimately interminable and cloying. By the last few hours I was really wishing that Theo would OD or anything just to make him shut up! If it had been half as long it would have been a great story. Perfect narrator, too bad he had to play an amoral professional victim who overthinks everything to death. I'm glad I stuck it out, but I think this book is somewhat over-rated.
This audio book helped me pass the time during four very long road trips. I am grateful to have had the distraction of the story during those drives, but I often found myself talking back to the narrator saying things like, " ok, ok, I get it. Move on already". Obviously, I felt some of the passages we're tedious and long winded. The sheer length of the book could tell you this, but the author could have made her point in three sentences, instead on three paragraphs, many times in the story. Sadly, I felt the main character's best friend, Boris, over-shadowed Theo many times in the book, and their story lines felt oddly competitive and redundant at the same time. The ending was a bit too tidy, and frankly, a bit "preachy" for lack of a better word. I simply can't wrap my head around why the author would lead me to believe that bad guys would suddenly do good things and all would be forgiven. While the intent was clearly to leave the listener/reader with a feel-good ending, this was not a feel good book overall.
The most interesting parts of this book were the sections describing antiques and artwork. Hobie was the best and most intriguing of all the characters, in my opinion. The least interesting part of this book was the entire section in Vegas. It felt forced, redundant, and boring. Boris' storyline started to overshadow Theo and it frustrated me.
I enjoyed Mr Pittu's ability to change character voices. But somehow I felt he too thought Boris was becoming the center of the story.
No! There couldn't possibly be anything more to say.
I disliked the main character so much, that when, towards the end of the book, he's thinking about doing something horrible to himself, I actually found myself thinking...yes, do it!! Then we can be done with this! I stuck it out though, because I kept hoping that he somehow redeems himself at the end, and I don't really know if he did or not, because I was only half listening. Having said that, the performance was brilliant and some of the other characters were truly interesting and entertaining.
I had read another review where the reviewer had absolutely loved the book until the end, where she felt the author started to "pontificate." I couldn't agree more.
The story is absolutely amazing -- at times charming, at times sad, at times hilariously funny, at times heartbreaking.The plot moves in crazy directions, making it sound like almost different novels put together (from a very intimate portrayal of a kid going through loss…to a mad caper through the back alleys of Amsterdam)…and yet it works. You don't mind accompanying Theo on his road trip through life. I LOVED it from the very beginning and simply could not put it down.
AND THEN come the last couple of hours, where the narrator seems to lose confidence in her amazing skill and she has the main character ramble on and on and on and on (and on) about 'the meaning of life.' No! No! No! That was totally unnecessary (and condescending and pedantic), Donna. We GOT IT! You did a great job getting us to GET IT. There was no need for the sudden (and boring) style change. (Where was the editor???)
As I was reading the book, I kept thinking, "HOW could you not give this book five stars, no matter if that reviewer is right and it fails a bit at the end?" And yet, as it turns out, I could not give it five stars because of that excruciating two-hour homily towards the end (perhaps it was just an hour, but it felt longer).
Still, I recommend The Goldfinch. The other 28 hours were absolutely great.
The narrator is excellent. Loved him so much that I went to see what else he had done (to my dismay, he has done a lot of kid books…and I had actually listened to most of his few adult books already).
Listening to this was like hearing every frame of a long movie, in excruciating detail described along with totally irrelevant conversations. The conversations of a group of travelers in front of him getting off the plane, the menu in a coffee house, the details of an airline ticket. And on top of it the narratormakes every five words into a melodramatic, mystery thriller cadence for 32 hours. And his voice for every female character made me cringe. The basic story was interesting, but could have been written in two thirds the words.It was as though every scene was described in two or three ways because the writer couldn't choose which one to use.
Aside from that, I found the character unsympathetic, though I really wanted to care for him, given the hard luck he had.
I really struggled to finish this.
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