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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 (12925 )
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4.1 (11715 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MaryAnn Drake 10-02-14 Member Since 2010
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing Story, Amazing Reader"
    What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

    The Goldfinch touches on human emotions with poignancy and accuracy. The story is moving and powerful. However, the reader, and I have listened to many Audible books with excellent readers, surpasses all others. He gave the characters a compelling depth. I found it difficult to stop listening and I found the reader's voice with the different characters playing in my mind.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janie 10-01-14
    Janie 10-01-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    26
    6
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    Story
    "Too much detail for too long"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story seemed to drag aimlessly about 3 or 4 times. The attention to detail is well done, it is just overdone to the point of boredom those 3 or 4 times.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I liked the plot twists, and I liked the characters.


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

    David Pittu's performance made the book interesting enough for me to continue listening. He did such a great job with the characters that I will probably look for books read by him in the future.


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

    If this book was made into a movie I probably would not see it unless it had outstanding reviews.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tompearson 10-01-14
    tompearson 10-01-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    2
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    "Top of my list of books to listen to"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    A great audible


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Theo, so screwed up


    Any additional comments?

    I know some people thought the book was far to wordy but the audible version makes the superfluous text extraordinary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie 09-30-14
    Debbie 09-30-14 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Story
    "Fantastic Listen!!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

    David Pittu is a terrific reader. He becomes the characters and brings them to life flawlessly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I have never read Donna Tartt before. She is amazing. She captures the human experience and the human emotion at such a base level and writes it so beautifully that the reader is captivated from the very beginning. The depth of feeling and the realness of the characters is breathtaking.


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

    I believe that David Pittu could read the worst book ever written and make it at least enjoyable to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was perfect-and I loved it!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo Ernst 09-29-14 Member Since 2014
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    "What an AMAZING book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the book just listened to it and have to say the performance is just outstanding. David Pittu does such a great job that I would look for books read by him and then check how good the book is. His intonations are just fantastic. You travel through him into the characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole story is handled with a great element of suspense that forces you to be connected. Main character and all of his "relatives" are just introduced in the best possible way. You can live through his day-to-day anxiety.


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

    No I have not but as I said, I would look for books read by him and then check how good the book is.


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

    Perfect name!


    Any additional comments?

    Just an AMAZING book. I usually read/hear history or non-fiction. This was recommended by somebody and I cannot insist how pleased I am.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa United States 09-29-14
    Teresa United States 09-29-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much!"

    I usually will make myself compete any book that I purchase in hopes that if nothing else, it will improve my literary fund of knowledge. This is the first book that I have ever returned. It was hopelessly wordy and seemed to be headed for some dark inexorable ending. I wish that I had read more of the reviews.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adrienne HIGHLAND PARK, IL, United States 09-26-14
    adrienne HIGHLAND PARK, IL, United States 09-26-14 Member Since 2014
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    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "The voice of the narrator was great"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best, and definitely longest


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character. I am female, but I appreciated the voice of a boy.


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

    No, but I will order a book just for him


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

    Being an artist I especially enjoyed the historical references. Unexpected humor popping up


    Any additional comments?

    One of the few books I am listening to again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fiona Milkweed On the Prairie, USA 09-24-14
    Fiona Milkweed On the Prairie, USA 09-24-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    "A Spectabular introduction to Audible!"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was my first; it sets a dangerously high standard for any audiobooks to follow!


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

    I was really struck by how absolutely alone he was, and what a shitty father he had. I was appalled by how little attention - or even food - he got while in Las Vegas. It was realistic in a very visceral way...


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

    First one. Loved Boris and his accent - helped so much keeping the characters straight.


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

    If you love your kids, make sure your will is up to date.


    Any additional comments?

    771 delicious pages!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy 09-24-14
    Nancy 09-24-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Way too long and VERY dark!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I'd recommend with hesitation. The book was unnecessarily long and the ending seemed abruptly concluded. Too many very long passages of mental self-absorption.


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

    Written because the author had to end the story and the book. Given the many long-drawn out soliloquies of the main character the ending seemed abrupt.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The description of the museum early in the book and Theo's effort to get back home to his mother's apartment.


    Could you see The Goldfinch being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Boris is a much more interesting character and one that the author didn't flesh out as much as Theo.


    Any additional comments?

    A story about a very self-absorbed character. He was difficult to identify or sympathize with.

    The narrator was fabulous! Each character had his or her own voice and the accents were brilliant!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Lansdale, PA United States 09-24-14
    Melanie Lansdale, PA United States 09-24-14 Member Since 2012

    Melanie

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ugh"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Being a better book. It was a BORE.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator didn't need to change his voice so much to designate characters


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

    Boredom


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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