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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 (11978 )
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  •  
    Debra 07-20-14
    Debra 07-20-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    14
    14
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    "Get To The Point!!!"

    I liked the narrator very much. I simply could not get through this audiobook, however. After listening to the first chapter which took an eternity to go nowhere, I turned it off when the narrator said "chapter 2" and realized there were still over 30 hours remaining. Donna Tartt is an excellent writer, but can take over twenty minutes to make a statement or observation that can be made in one with the same impact. This particular over-detail of minutia is the same reason I stopped reading Anne Rice novels. This was just not for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark K 07-20-14
    Mark K 07-20-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    17
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "really hard to get through"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you like a taciturn main character and a dreary, depressing plot, this one is for you. It was hard to get through. I didn't gain the artistic and enlightening point of view as others in the comments, but just got annoyed with the main character. Donna is a talented writer, but I felt like I was dragging an anchor to get through this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 07-20-14
    Chris 07-20-14 Member Since 2013

    Love strong female characters, like twists and unpredictable story line. Love it steamy. Recent favorites; Game of Thrones, Divergent...

    ratings
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    27
    4
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    Story
    "Surprise ending!"

    A little slow getting going, great story once it got going. Not predicable. Loved the twists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Chapel Hill, NC, United States 07-19-14
    Lee Chapel Hill, NC, United States 07-19-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Misery Fest"

    Highly skilled writer details agony of main character. Seems to wallow in it. Got about 3 hours in and decided to end my own suffering by not listening any more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Kitty Hawk, NC, United States 07-19-14
    Ellen Kitty Hawk, NC, United States 07-19-14 Member Since 2008
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    "what a disappointment"

    Started great. Characters turn out to be weak and whiney. It's bad when you begin pulling for the lead to take the overdose just to be done with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith E. Scheuer 07-19-14
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    "Tediously long & horribly overwritten."
    What disappointed you about The Goldfinch?

    The author overwrote the story, dragging out scenes & descriptions so badly I could hardly force myself to finish the book.


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

    The ending was so tediously long & dragged out. Instead of letting the story end with the END of the story, the author wastes a good half hour of narration waxing philosophic. She couldn't let the reader ponder the meanings in the story once the tale was told. Rather, she forces the meaning on the listener with a rambling narration that just won't quit.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    The narrator does a good job with voices and appropriate inflections but tends to over-pronounce some words. For the most part, I did not feel like I was listening to someone reading a story, rather more like someone relating events that had happened.


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

    At times, the tale was told with such long winded tedium that I felt like beating my head against a wall. Irritation in the extreme. The story itself held some interest for me but the author just could not GET TO THE POINT. This was very distracting to the story itself.


    Any additional comments?

    I am mystified by the number of rave reviews. I was very disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fanne Santa Cruz, CA, United States 07-19-14
    Fanne Santa Cruz, CA, United States 07-19-14

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i don't want it to end"

    "The Goldfinch" moves into to my list of top modern American novels. The others are "The Color Purple," "To Kill a Mockingbird," something by Pat Conroy, probably "The Prince of Tides" and the "Secret Life of Bees."

    The plot,which goes on for hours, is mesmerizing. The narration is long, over 30 hours, but I still don't want it to end. The narration, by David Pittu, is the best ever. I'll be looking to see what else he has read as soon as I finish this. I'll also be looking for Donna Tartt books as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 07-19-14
    Linda 07-19-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Donna Tartt gets the details right, enjoy!"
    Have you listened to any of David Pittu’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is a great performance. The characters are believable and real all the way through. A pleasure to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved the story and the unlikely characters. It is modern, relevant and thought provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D Aliso Viejo, CA, United States 07-18-14
    D Aliso Viejo, CA, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Pulitzer??????????????"

    What is the story line? A 9/11 parallel of a boy orphaned in a New York explosion? A Holden Caulfield coming of age? A John Travolta story of drugs, foul language, and Russian mafia? A Thelma & Louise adventure across several continents? And at the end, deep philosophical insight from a main character whom 700 pages revealed as totally shallow?
    The sole constant throughout was a stolen painting, which made cameo appearances at the beginning, middle, and end. It could never served as a connecting theme or driving force. I didn't find any such structure.
    Would it have worked as a picaresque novel? That requires a main character of consistent or believable evolution of personality, with a spark that captures our interest. The closest this book came was Boris, a lesser figure who showed life and led the action (nearly the only action) when he appeared.
    Because of the beginning, I kept listening, hoping to find a consistent theme, character development, or some explanation for the book's high esteem. I wish I had pulled the plug when I first questioned investing my time on this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Kerwin 07-18-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    10
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    "Overwritten!"
    What did you like best about The Goldfinch? What did you like least?

    Best - The characters
    Least - Always getting away with murder


    Would you ever listen to anything by Donna Tartt again?

    Yes, book is entertaining, but overwritten. Forced myself to finish the book.


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

    He is incredible with staying in character.


    Did The Goldfinch inspire you to do anything?

    Not really


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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