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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 (12834 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jade shojaee 04-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    1
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    Story
    "Life changing"

    Not only is the story itself fascinating, the characters real and love able but the message of the book warmed my soul and gave peace as a human in a world of turmoil

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mamabetz Cranbury, NJ USA 04-24-15
    Mamabetz Cranbury, NJ USA 04-24-15 Member Since 2012
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    67
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where was the editor???"

    This was certainly a compelling story, and the characters were well drawn. I spent the first half of the book worried about the lead character in his traumatic childhood. The bad decisions he made were attributable to his youth. Caring about the character is a good thing, surely. But once he reached adulthood, I couldn't help being angry that despite his reversal of fortune, he continued to make disastrous decisions. I kept waiting for him to come to his senses, and listening to his constant ruminations, I kept thinking this shift was just about to happen. Instead the author indulged in long philosophical soliloquies by each of the major characters, until frankly, I didn't care anymore what happened to him.

    Had there been a decent editor on the job, this book would have been shorter by at least 1/3. There was a lot to like here, but the reader must patiently wade through a wilderness of self-indulgent babbling to find it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lianne LaVoy 04-24-15 Member Since 2013
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Nicely balanced"

    Narration was superb. A gifted linguistic intonation is used throughout. The balance between storyline and state of mind is perfect, a sort of Catcher in the Rye angst coupled with suspense with constant elements of surprise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Tucson, AZ, United States 04-23-15
    Keith Tucson, AZ, United States 04-23-15 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    13
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    "Dreadful overall, but I kept listening...for 32 h"

    I was so glad to finish this book. I have listened to hundreds of books over the past 10 years with audible and there have been so few that I have had to return but this is the worst book I have ever listened to through till the end. The fundamental problem with this book is that the protagonist is completely unsympathetic, feckless, and frustrating. Bad things happen to him but he compounds his misery as he drifts through his life making a series of idiotically bad decisions. Given a series of opportunities to make more of his life he consistently fails to take them, and I felt nothing but frustration. He is credited with having the human insight to be a fantastic antiques salesman, but displays total incompetence with all his friends, living through the events that happen to him in a state of ignorance. He doesn't say the obvious things and after the first 10 hours I was so frustrated that I considered stopping listening. I think David Pittu, the narrator, is wonderful for every character except the central character. His voice for Hobie, Boris and the others are brilliant but for some reason the central character's weakness is emphasized by the pace and style of the personalization he uses. Whoever directed this reading to be slow and ponderous is most at fault - a lighter touch and faster pacing for the central character might have rescued this work and cut the listening time by half.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Veronica S. Gullo 04-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    5
    4
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    "I miss them already"

    I loved the characters, I'd like to know them. Especially Hobey and while hanging out with Boris may not be in my best interest I love his perspective, his charm, his sensitivity and his wit - he cracks me up.

    Like many of the books I listen too at 1.5, I still thoroughly enjoyed the narrative.

    This book was not predictable which I loved. I wished for something's that didn't occur, & I was frightened that other things may happen - and they didn't. I was surprised, intrigued and engrossed. This was at thing that were completely unexpected - the longest book I have read, a negative to some-but a positive for me. I enjoyed it, sailed patiently through the beautiful descriptions and story. How could I be sad a 32 hour book could be done?! But I am. Ha!

    My previous audio books do not even compare. I'm rather new to audio, but I feel addicted already. Never could I have read this book from beginning to end, never. But now to have the opportunity to listen to works as good as this one I am desperate to find something comparable to Goldfinch.

    Smart, crafted, appealing, intense, funny, sad, slow, fast, artistic, hopeful... Life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MrDowntown45 04-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A masterpiece in reading and listening"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    The three words I would use to sum up "The Goldfinch" would be "gripping," "philosophical," and "well-performed."


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character would have to be Boris, but Hobie and Theo would be close seconds. In the tradition of Mephistophiles, Boris is an hilarious tempter.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    The tenor of David Pittu's voice and his sense of timing appealed to my listening tastes. He did a great job, and I would purchase additional readings by him.


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

    I would prefer to take Pippa out for dinner, since she's so beautiful. Hobie would be boring, Theo duplicitous, and with Boris we'd never get through the meal.


    Any additional comments?

    A fantastically engaging work of art, on a par with the painting that plays such a large part in it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Robinson Tucson, AZ USA 04-20-15
    R. Robinson Tucson, AZ USA 04-20-15 Member Since 2012

    Soundad

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    3
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    "Incredible experience!"

    The performance was so unbelievably good. The characters were brought to life and became a part of my life. Listening to a book doesn't get any better than this!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PAULTAYLOR 04-20-15
    PAULTAYLOR 04-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
    3
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    Performance
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    "very underwhelming very immature very confused"

    very over rated sophomoric stuff. kind of get what she was aiming for first 350 pages good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 04-19-15
    Amanda 04-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    "Long"

    This was a very long book and the beginning half was very boring. I did like the second half much better and the reader was great to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Goldie 04-19-15
    Goldie 04-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Best book ever"

    Best book I've ever read. Totally entertained the entire time.
    It was so long and yet I was sad when it ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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