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The Goldfinch Audiobook

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 (17192 )
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  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest OREGON 10-28-13

    Elle AKA PlantCrone..I'm an organic gardener, quilter, volunteer and elder who enjoys different genres from biographies to si/fi to fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful, involved,detailed narrative"

    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!

    30 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ZiggyZ 12-31-13
    ZiggyZ 12-31-13
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    "Couldn't put it down, couldn't wait for it to end!"

    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.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Publius Florida Orlando, FL 02-12-16
    Publius Florida Orlando, FL 02-12-16

    Fight the Power

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    "Meh"

    Too many words (pretentious) getting in the way of the story (trite). Your time would be better spent reading the label on a can of corn.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Baudette, MN, United States 11-06-13
    Susan Baudette, MN, United States 11-06-13 Member Since 2015
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    "A modern-day "Great Expectations" of sorts."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    The narrator gives life to the main character. His voice is both innocent and worldly.


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

    Great Expectations


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

    Theo Decker the main character is a tragic hero, but the reader cannot help but identify with his foibles.


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

    I would love to have Boris as a dinner companion because of his voracious and indomitable appetite for life.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Lincoln, NE, United States 12-11-13
    Angie Lincoln, NE, United States 12-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Ugh, not for me!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm not sure. I just couldn't connect with any of it. It just went on and on and I kept telling myself it would get better and I just never could get into it or behind the main characters. I can't figure out what I'm missing. Clearly many other reviewers really enjoyed it.


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    The main character, come on Theo, get it together.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Pittu’s performances?

    Yes, definitely, as long as he isn't using a Russian accent.


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

    Disappointment and frustration...and a healthy dose of boredom.


    Any additional comments?

    I absolutely love Tartt's other books and just can't figure out what everybody else sees in this book. Maybe I will try again at a later date.

    16 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 07-12-14
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 07-12-14 Member Since 2006

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What if....."

    I tried reading Donna Tartt's previous books and couldn't get into them. Perhaps I will try the audios. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book- I will admit that it could have benefitted from a better editor. However, I did not not get bored. I found myself immersed in the story and I really enjoyed living in Theodores crazy world.I thought the narrator was excellent. I won't go into the story since there are so many reviews, and yes it was a bit far fetched in many instances, but that is what fiction is about. To take us to another world, another life and let us imagine the "what if's...."

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 06-17-14
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 06-17-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Simply fabulous"

    This was the first book by Donna Tartt that I read (or listened to). The story is great and beleivable in all its tiny details. I think it pictures very well of how it is to be raised today in the Western society. You don't have to lose your parents (or even one of them) to end up on the somewhat shady side of life. You might just as well have parents who are (physically or mentally) absent and who does not think child-rearing is a particluar interesting topic. But kids survive, even if they don't thrive, or succeed in the "normal" way. The story is very well told, does never get boring and it is brought to a very logical end. I loved this book and will look for others by the author. The narration is also great.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Cranbrook, BC, Canada 03-21-14
    Michelle Cranbrook, BC, Canada 03-21-14 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Absolutely stunning novel - best audible book yet."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the print version.


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

    Compelling relationships, completely captivating characters, unforgettable story. Every moment was memorable, but the explosion that changes everything in the beginning is the most memorable.


    Have you listened to any of David Pittu’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't but will seek out more. He was incredible. Great accent work for one, and goes from character to character effortlessly. You always know whos "speaking".


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Definitely extreme. My husband was glad when it was over so we could speak again. I grieved the end. It's one of those books that will live with you forever.


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 03-02-14
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 03-02-14 Member Since 2015

    I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.

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    "Not Too Shabby!"
    Any additional comments?

    The Goldfinch is one of the best books I have read in the last two years. What makes the Goldfinch so good? The Story! The reader is locked into a completely original and captivating story with excellent character development. The Goldfinch deals with many social issues, personal sagas, and themes without losing distracting the reader from the main story. This was my first Donna Tartt book, where many book aficionados refer to her as a genius. I may fall into that camp. Tartt's use of foreshadowing and character describing analogies will make you want to read the book twice.

    Tartt brings the reader into environments, personal circumstances, and private meetings that create a great sense of reader intimacy and connectedness throughout the book. The Goldfinch addresses the motivations and experiences associated with drug abuse, addiction, and PTSD. These heady and sad experiences are handled expertly by Tartt, where the reader is not overwhelmed by pessimism or hopelessness.

    I have two major criticisms of the Goldfinch: 1) Some sections of the book are overwritten. As the reader you want to move to the next scene change. However, Tartt gives allows the main charter to overly process their current dilemma to the point the reader shouts out loud "For the love of God please make a decision"! 2) The reader must struggle through the first 75 pages. Tartt give the reader a long wind-up before delivering the pitch. This is not helped by the somewhat awkward narrator voice of Theo's mother in the audio book. For the most part the narrator, David Pittu, is excellent. However, he struggles with the Theo's mother voice to the point of distraction.

    Criticisms aside, I loved and would recommend the Goldfinch to any serious fan of fiction. In my rank order book evaluation system (Best to Work) that I have developed for all the audio books I have listen to over the last two years, I rank the Goldfinch number 5 of 58. Not Too Shabby.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Wycoff California 12-30-13
    Joyce Wycoff California 12-30-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Too long ... too boring ... too long"

    It's always hard to give a really good writer a bad review but this book is just too much ... too long, too depressing, too long, too one dimensional, too long ...

    I've listened to about 14 hours of Theo being the good-but-stupid kid. I don't think it's worth another 18 hours of my life, especially when the opening told me Theo is still in the midst of self-destructing. If this is so Dickensian, I might as well go back and read Dickens.

    I want to reach out and hug Theo, take him home and comfort him ... but I also want to shake him silly. He made a friend in Hobie and then just lets it go. I want a book to have an arc ... this one just seems to be one long, joyless ride to nowhere.

    While some have complained about the narrator, I thought he did a great job and probably kept me listening several hours longer than I would have otherwise.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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