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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 (13332 )
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4.1 (12084 )
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4.5 (12059 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    SamanthaG Marietta GA 12-21-14
    SamanthaG Marietta GA 12-21-14 Member Since 2010

    SamanthaG

    HELPFUL VOTES
    191
    ratings
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    237
    96
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    5
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    Story
    "....but I digress..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    dont'know


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Am listening to Abundance now


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Performance was OK...the performer doesn't do female voices well. Get a woman!!!


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

    The scene where Theo is interacting with the old guy who's dying after the bombing in the art gallery. It goes on and on and on. Let the poor guy die, already.


    Any additional comments?

    Oh, yes! 30+ hours?? Was there no editor? Every thought, emotion, happening, etc. was recounted in great detail. Maybe Ms Tartt should read some Hemingway and get rid of some of the unnecessary stuff. Could we just hear the story? In her defense, I do think her writing is perceptive and many times very good....there's just too much of it. I've listened to 5 or 6 hours of this and decided to give it up and move on. She "digresses" many times from what 's happening now to what happened a long time ago, introduces new characters, etc., and I forget where we are and what we were discussing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Santa Cruz, US, Canada 12-20-14
    Jennifer Santa Cruz, US, Canada 12-20-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "This book succeeds in being an amazing work"

    My interest was captivated all the way through and I loved the thoughtful ending, though also felt that it could be trimmed and polished a lot. There are unrealistic aspects to this book -- like perhaps nearly the entire thing -- and that prevented me from being fully a fan. I recommend it for sure and I won't forget this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Åhman Spånga, Sweden 12-18-14
    Robin Åhman Spånga, Sweden 12-18-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    55
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    "Not what I hoped for"
    What did you like best about The Goldfinch? What did you like least?

    I had heard so much about this book so I wanted to give it a shot. I haven't read or listened to any of Donna Tartt's other books. But this book wasn't for me. It was too long, the story was progressing too slowly and the main character was annoying. The best thing about the book was Boris.


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

    It wasn't what I was hoping for.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No I don't think so. If this book was made into a movie it would have to be four hours long to manage to fit everything, and that would be one slow and boring movie.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't believe the hype. This book was not for me and I won't be reading any of Donna Tartt's other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria F. 12-18-14
    Maria F. 12-18-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "An Editor! An Editor! My Kingdom for an Editor!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The story was a good one.


    If you’ve listened to books by Donna Tartt before, how does this one compare?

    Her first book, The Secret History, is masterful.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    Excellent performance by David Pitt.


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

    The author. I'd like to ask some questions. I'd also like to talk to the publisher and the editor to hear their side of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy St. Louis, MO, United States 12-17-14
    Peggy St. Louis, MO, United States 12-17-14 Member Since 2010
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    4
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    Story
    "Not my style"

    The narration was well done. I didn't care for the story at all. I chose the book based on the positive reviews but feel I wasted hours of my life--of which I can not get back--listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    penkypoo 12-08-14
    penkypoo 12-08-14 Member Since 2013

    A busy lady, just tryin' to fit her reading in where she can!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "A slow read, but a great story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I honestly would not recommend this book to anyone. It took a really long time for me to get through. The story just drug on.


    If you’ve listened to books by Donna Tartt before, how does this one compare?

    I have not listened to anything else by this author.


    What three words best describe David Pittu’s performance?

    Good, depth, varied


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

    No, I have no desire to find out what happened to the characters after the story ended.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.S. Valdez FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 12-07-14
    M.S. Valdez FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 12-07-14 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author is Stephen King! Favorite book is Hyperion-read/listen to it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator steals this spotlight!"

    As I put in the headline, the narrator for this book is an absolute chameleon of a voice actor. His range of voices and accents is by far the best I've heard in any audiobook. The book is worth it just to listen to his mastery.
    As far as the story goes, it is very well written with excellently fleshed out characters. The story of a young boy who hoards a valuable painting for years is realistic and tugs at your heart and soul as you listen to his journey. I could not give the story 5 stars however at it uses a terrorist attack on a New York landmark (overused yet?) and a very improbable meeting in New York between two main characters later on in the story. It's a small world, but not that small.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Dunn Vancouver, BC Canada 12-05-14
    Andrew Dunn Vancouver, BC Canada 12-05-14 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Good, but with reservations"

    The book was well read and mostly interesting. The character Boris was just annoying though, and Theo's motivation in not just handing over the painting wasn't clear to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Obrien 12-05-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Artfully written"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Beautifully written story


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

    Theo - portrayed his dead pan personality exceptionally well. Hobie too was portrayed very well.


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

    And its influence on a young boy's life journey


    Any additional comments?

    The style of writing was very detailed almost like painting. Every scene was full of scents, sounds, colors, and emotions putting you there and creating a scene before your very eyes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stuart 12-03-14
    Stuart 12-03-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Story
    "Great Book, Great Story, and Great Characters"
    Any additional comments?

    When this book ended I spiraled into a deep depression that was only cured by strong whiskey and my insatiable desire to one day move to Iceland, meet a beautiful woman (I hear they are everywhere over there), father 4 children (Bjorn, Arnar, Magnus, and Hejda), and die in my cottage at the foot of the great Eyjafjallajokull.

    Anyways....

    This is a great book with fantastic characters, and the narration is incredible. I found myself listening to this for hours on end, completely immersing myself in the storyline. It is truly one of my favorite books of all time and I highly recommend it. Donna Tartt is a wonderful author, who in her previous works failed to impress me with her preferred style of constantly building up the plot line and then ending it abruptly; but, this book is not like the others. There is completion to it in my opinion and it makes for a great read or listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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