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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 (10255 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D. Fyler 10-25-14
    D. Fyler 10-25-14 Member Since 2013

    chocoholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A beautiful and moving book"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    I loved the book. It was a truly beautiful production. It does remind me of Dickens in the way that it is but sentimental but has a certain depth of emotion that it is ver difficult for some writers to present.

    It was bit long to listen to in its entirety, but I would definitely re listen to certain scenes.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Goldfinch?

    There were slot of memorable emotional scenes, but I think the scenes of the the main characters witnessing the interaction between the members of the family that took him in were spot on.


    Any additional comments?

    A great book, full of heart and soul. The characters were truly alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JENNIFER 10-22-14
    JENNIFER 10-22-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
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    "Way too long"
    What did you like best about The Goldfinch? What did you like least?

    The book had so much potential but became difficult because it was way too long. I felt there were too many unnecessary pointless details. It was well written though.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Theo. you couldn't help but feel bad for his difficult and empty life.


    What does David Pittu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Identity to the characters .


    Could you see The Goldfinch being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Possibly a movie.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Sanders Texas 10-21-14
    Cheryl Sanders Texas 10-21-14 Member Since 2011

    Cher

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too many details"
    What did you like best about this story?

    How it proves your childhood affects your entire life


    Any additional comments?

    Though usually a book is better than it's movie, I think the opposite might happen with this story. It was a slow read, yet good enough story that I had to get to the end

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stuart Hagmann 10-20-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Perfect Performance of Magnificent Novel"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    PROFOUNDLY MOVING ENTERTAINMENT!


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

    At times it is like DAVID COPPERFIELD, at times it is like CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, and at all times it is sheer bliss!


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    It is impossible to find one thing to praise in this pitch perfect reading that sears your heart as he vividly revels the many characters who make their marks on the soul of Theo Dekker … and the soul of the listener.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The finale I have listened to again and again, weeping every time. Not because of sadness, but because of the sheer beauty of the ideas.


    Any additional comments?

    Constantly surprising! Screamingly amusing! Uniquely detailed! Unforgettable! Those four comments are as true of Tartt's novel as they are of Pittu's performance. I have advised everyone I hold dear to either read this novel, or better still, take time in to experience this performance, for their lives will be enriched.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Garcia Phoenix, AZ United States 10-20-14
    Deborah Garcia Phoenix, AZ United States 10-20-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A Disappointment"

    This book had received such good reviews that I was excited to listen and I truly enjoyed the first third of the narrative.
    However in my opinion, the last two-thirds of this book was overwritten. Five adjectives were used when one would have sufficed. Portraits of minor characters were ill conceived,
    and unbelievable - apparently the only type of person in the characters world are extremely rich, pretentious drug users, or petty thieves and criminals (also addicts).
    And just how many scenes of teenage anger, angst and poor judgment are required
    before the reader understands that the protagonist has been through a life-altering, harrowing circumstance that has scarred him? Evidently the author thought that chapters and chapters of this were needed - which drove me to nearly delete this book.
    Over all a true disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bbb Scotland 10-20-14
    Bbb Scotland 10-20-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Mixed feelings about this book"
    What did you like best about The Goldfinch? What did you like least?

    There were some very gripping scenes and I liked most of the characters. The writing did veer to the florid at times and I found Dinna Tartt's similes tedious. In places the book felt padded and I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been shorter and tighter.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    His male characters and descriptions of places were great. I just couldn't quite get my head around Theo's mother's breathy frailty or Zandra's raspy baritone.


    Was The Goldfinch worth the listening time?

    Somewhat.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Richards Amsterdam, Netherlands 10-19-14
    A. Richards Amsterdam, Netherlands 10-19-14 Member Since 2014

    infoseaker

    ratings
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    1
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    "Almost perfect"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Larger than life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The painting. It tied everything together.


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

    Boris.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I sometimes wanted to think about parts before continuing on.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book and highly recommend it to others. The reader, David Pittu, did a fantastic job with the accents and characters.
    My only pet peeve is the Dutch accents and some of the Dutch pronunciation. How hard can it be to pronounce "Rijksmuseum" correctly? That was the one truly OOPS in the reading. I loved Boris's voice.
    Also, I wish that at the end of the book, there was no rising music. It was very distracting it what felt like to me a climactic thoughtful moment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy 10-18-14
    Peggy 10-18-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    1
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    "Not worth the time"
    What disappointed you about The Goldfinch?

    I thought the story line and subject matter were dreadful. Too much time was spent describing the most depressing and ugly situations and events.


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    The author is definitely talented, but she goes on and on in gory details about the most unpleasant scenes - uck!


    What does David Pittu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did Russian accents very well, and is a good narrator overall.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration and depression.


    Any additional comments?

    If I listened one more vomit scene, I was going to scream.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Chudacoff Edwards, CO United States 10-16-14
    Natalie Chudacoff Edwards, CO United States 10-16-14 Member Since 2011

    Always have 3 books going. 1 in paperback, 1 on kindle, and 1 in audio format. Be reading. Everywhere. Always.

    ratings
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    2
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    "Couldn't put it down (so to speak)"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! The story covered the whole spectrum of emotions. As a person in my late 20's I was able to recall my own youth with the narrator telling the story of his childhood and adolescence. As a young adult, I was able to relate with his young life experience and his connections with peers and older adults.


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

    I would compare this book to young adult fiction, but for adults. Teens who read books by John Green in high school would enjoy this story as a new adult out of college.


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

    I loved his Eastern European best friend. He was fun and entertaining, serious and playful.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There was no particular moment that pulled my attention, but the emotional roller coaster experienced by the main character was relate-able and stayed in my mind far longer than I expected. I found myself rooting for him in times of struggle and cheered him on in times of triumph. I loved his loves and cried for his losses. It was a moving story


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Easy pezie 10-15-14
    Easy pezie 10-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    12
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    "Sad...depressing"
    What would have made The Goldfinch better?

    Such a dark book, the boy didn't seem to have a chance at ever being happy.


    Has The Goldfinch turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    The performance was just wonderful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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