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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 (14069 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ruth 02-03-15
    Ruth 02-03-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No, no, don't let it end..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    Yes. I tried several times to read the print edition. This audio edition was perfect.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Character development, getting a glimpse at worlds unfamiliar.


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

    Boris in his full Boris-ness. Pittu's Boris is endearing, revolting and above all, charming. Perfectly voiced.


    If you could rename The Goldfinch, what would you call it?

    I wouldn't.


    Any additional comments?

    Predictable yet refreshingly unpredictable. A great first dip into the world of audiobooks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce B Dudley, MA USA 02-03-15
    Bruce B Dudley, MA USA 02-03-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    32
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like a story wrapped in similes."
    Any additional comments?

    The reading was excellent, but I had to stop several times because the descriptions of even the smallest, most insignificant things were constantly and repeated described as being "like" something else. For example, the darkness was like the ink at the bottom of an inkwell in an unlighted basement at midnight. The main character was constantly becoming disjointed, disembodied, in a haze, or some such thing. Some of this would be fine, but these things were so pervasive that they quickly distracted from the story, and, for a while, I didn't think that I would continue. In the end, I slogged through and found that it was an OK story.I tend to get quite a few longer listens, but this one could have been improved by eliminating some of the verbal wordplay and maybe cutting the listening time in half.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 02-03-15
    Samantha 02-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Touching and original story"

    Although it could drag on at times, it was a great story with an original plot and interesting characters. Although a very unique story, we can all relate to the overall tee:we are all dealt cards in lif, maybe by chance, maybe on purpose, but we must use them to see the beauty in life, no matter how terrible a hand we draw.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Jeter 02-03-15
    M. Jeter 02-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting twists"

    Enjoyed the reading, looked forward to driving just so I could get back to the story. Very long, but very worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie I. McCallister 02-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"

    The narrator's voice seemed to capture Theo's character perfectly. Loved the character Boris, the story, and the philosophical comments and questions of the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CB 02-02-15
    CB 02-02-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
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    REVIEWS
    351
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where are the editors -- WAY too long!"
    Would you try another book from Donna Tartt and/or David Pittu?

    I did not like this book. I did not like the characters. I don't know why so many did like it,
    I found it boring and way too long.


    Do you think The Goldfinch needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Please no.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mddomain 02-01-15
    Mddomain 02-01-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    "Amazing!"

    Sprawling and beautiful, this book will change your perspective on several aspects of the journey we call life. Tartt is an incredible writer, and Pittu is second to none in his performance. Well worth the time you'll invest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan A. Muth 02-01-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too long"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Time wasted. It could have been half as long. The characters were unlikable and the story was not interesting to me.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Donna Tartt? Why or why not?

    No I did not like the story.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    His performnce was good. His characters were clear.


    Do you think The Goldfinch needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    OH GOD NO


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BethBeth 01-29-15
    BethBeth 01-29-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could Barely Get Through It"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would change the entire story line. This book lacks a believable basis, and takes itself too seriously with lengthy paragraphs and pages describing the perceptions and feelings of a strung-out junkie. Realistically, no one sits around having those kinds of thoughts.


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

    Yes.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed the scenes with Boris and Theo in Las Vegas getting drunk and watching movies.


    Did The Goldfinch inspire you to do anything?

    Not read anything else by Donna Tartt.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is massively overrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarina Monterey, CA 01-29-15
    Sarina Monterey, CA 01-29-15 Member Since 2013

    Love listening to non-fiction & fiction if the story is exciting.Favorite narrator: Simon Vance! Also loved The Goldfinch!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    Yes! The narrator was so talented, such a diverse repertoire, a joy to hear!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Theo, of course. He survived, although scarred, I feel an affinity to him. I also grew to love Boris with his quirky ways & unconditional love for Theo.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ones with Theo missing & recalling Pipa with her unusual & wonderful looks.


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

    No, it's too long, but I did look forward to daily sessions & was a little sad it had to end.


    Any additional comments?

    I rarely listen to fiction, but this one really appealed to me because it encompassed art history, antiques & many mentions of real life familiar places. The characters came alive for me through the excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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