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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 (12287 )
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  •  
    AMP 08-21-14
    AMP 08-21-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved this!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

    The book flows beautifully. Descriptive, detailed, it may seem like too much to some, but for me the book came alive.


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

    Wonderful narrator. His character voices were amazing and his main narration voice was perfect, emphasis and inflection in all the right places.


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

    Boris. I may not agree with all his views but I enjoyed him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DonnaRussell Tempe, AZ, United States 08-20-14
    DonnaRussell Tempe, AZ, United States 08-20-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ho Hum"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book was okay. I listened to the whole thing...even the long sermon at the end about art. I wouldn't listen again.


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

    Donna Tartt always gets rave reviews but I think she is over rated.


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

    I really like the Russian friend, Boris I think. The narrator did a great job with him.


    Did The Goldfinch inspire you to do anything?

    I actually downloaded a picture of the painting to take a close look at it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Merrin 08-20-14
    Merrin 08-20-14 Member Since 2013
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    "why?"
    What would have made The Goldfinch better?

    This book would have been 100% more enjoyable if it was a third of the pages.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Donna Tartt again?

    Maybe I'll read some again, just not this year.


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

    David's characters where very well performed, I think Boris was my favourite.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes yes, many, i really enjoyed the many different characters, I felt like I understood them all well, I just found Theo a bit of a whinger


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad I'm finished the book, anyone want my copy of the paperback?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GertySmith1 08-18-14
    GertySmith1 08-18-14 Member Since 2009

    I love historical fiction, but, in truth, I like ALL kinds of nonfiction! I enjoy books that take me "somewhere" or lets me learn something new. I listen to books whenever I am in the car or the sewing room. I require unabridged books...don't want a single word the author wrote removed from the story!

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    "Loved the Painting!"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    'Bought this one shortly after viewing the painting, The Goldfinch, at the High Museum in Atlanta. The painting was part of the visiting exhibit that included, Girl with the Pearl Earring. The painting was far superior to the book. The editor should have his/her backside kicked for allowing the over-verbiage of Ms. Tartt...parts of the book should have been edited to lesson tedium. I listened to the whole thing...every word, but it will not be a book I listen to again.

    How I wish I felt that Theo had redeeming qualities...he sees his problem but he does not do anything about it. That is the hardest part to swallow...he just does not learn from past experiences. I guess that is very realistic; I have known people like that, but I do not enjoy listening to that type of story.

    Mr. Pittu's reading of the book is excellent. I think HE is the reason I made it all the way through the book.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Improvements could easily have been made by succinct editing, less repetition of the "problems" Theo has. It would lessen the tedium of sections.


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

    Hobie is my favorite character, along with Boris. Pittu's use of voice-character inflection was excellent for both. He also did a very good job of expressing Theo's hopelessness!


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

    I wish I could think of a better title; it seems a shame to saddle that lovely, precious painting with such a story.


    Any additional comments?

    I have not read any of Tartt's other stories and I am not sure I will try. She does a wonderful job portraying hopelessness and weak personalities. I am so glad I have listened to this one instead of reading the hard-copy. I wish I had more positive things to say. To a point, I enjoyed it...but I had to make myself finish listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 08-18-14
    Sandra 08-18-14
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    "If you get through the first 50 pages!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The boring first 50 pages


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

    His performance was excellent. I could never have stuck with this book if I was reading it.


    Did The Goldfinch inspire you to do anything?

    I looked up the painting & it's story.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this book would appeal to an older teen (16 - 18).
    I liked the background story about furniture restoration and the double dealing that goes on in the antiquities markets. If it hadn't been for that I might have quit listening. I kept wanting to tell Theo "enough already".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary 08-17-14
    Gary 08-17-14 Member Since 2013
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    "It was a love/hate book for me"
    What did you like best about The Goldfinch? What did you like least?

    I loved Theo's relationship with his mother and her stimulating influence on his life. But when the boys got together there were enough F bombs to sink a naval fleet. I'm not sure the coarse chapters outweighed the thought provoking chapters for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy D. Miller 08-14-14 Member Since 2013

    Czenda

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    "Provacative and Haunting"
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    Intellectually challenging - Donna Tartt does an outstanding job in keeping the audience thinking at various levels by giving vivid and alluring context to the thoughts and feelings of Theo from his childhood to adulthood.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Boris and Xandra were both favorites. I found myself laughing out loud at situations and conversations of both.


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

    Definitely the personality of Boris - great job. I have a small group of friends and we share titles of great reads. I highly recommended this book but even more so the Audible version because of David's read, thinking primarily of how Boris was done as well as Xandra and Andy, not to mention Theo.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A must experience -


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Belle river, ON, Canada 08-14-14
    Carol Belle river, ON, Canada 08-14-14 Member Since 2014

    I listen to a book a day just about. I am 49, I love mystery, thriller, true crime. G.Guidall best reader for me.

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    "Great book"

    I'm a triller reader so this book was out of my genre. I enjoyed from beginning to end. I bought the hard cover for my 24 year old son who also thought it was well written and excellent story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise Tremblay Cole 08-14-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary voices"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was one of the most compelling books I've listened to. As much as I would have enjoyed reading it in print, I know the experience was greatly enhanced by the narrator's amazing ability to give each of the many characters a distinctive voice that created a vivid impression of their personality.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I don't think I could have imagined Boris or Hobie so clearly without it.


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

    It was far too long for a single sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    It will take a second reading or listening to fully appreciate all the nuances of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russ McUne 08-14-14
    Russ McUne 08-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't think she could make it any longer"
    What disappointed you about The Goldfinch?

    She feels she has to have massive amounts of prose at all times. Could have been half the length and been much better.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Still trying to get there. The book goes on forever. But, I am determined to finish, as I can't get the 30 hours of my life back.


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

    He does a great job. But I think I can tell he gets anoyed with some of the writing also.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Goldfinch?

    It is a kid with a drug problem, grows up with this stolen painting and running around europe looking for it. The endless descriptions and the ENDLESS flowery prose was killing me and the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Never buy another book from her again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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