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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 (12284 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Andre New York, NY, United States 08-12-14
    Andre New York, NY, United States 08-12-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "What's all the buzz about?"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    No - and I wouldn't suggest that a friend spend the time to listen to it. There are many other novels that are much better.


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

    The are several moments - Vegas, the museum - the book is made up of them. The problem is that the linkage between them gets weaker and weaker as the novel progresses.


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

    The book did not evoke an extreme reaction - it certainly never caused me to smile. I was saddened to read yet another novel where key characters spend long periods of time on drugs or in pursuit of them. This is almost becoming cliche.


    Any additional comments?

    Based on the awards and the glowing reviews, I was hoping for a novel as compelling as Junot Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" -- but my hope was misplaced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roxanna Torres 08-11-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    5
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    Story
    "Wonderful story but you have to be patient."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It's a long book so a good value. The story is sweeping and takes a boy through the hardships of his life. You get to know him so well that you become involved with him.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The language. The writer's masterful language is, at times, breathtaking.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    His voices and narration were not interfering.


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

    The protagonist, Theo Decker at about the age of 15-16.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a modern "Catcher in the Rye".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonny 08-10-14
    Sonny 08-10-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Nihilistic and preachy"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A lengthy and dark story where nihilism is incoherently and pedantically twisted into a message that facts should be ignored and one should live with joy in a place without hope.


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    the incoherence of hope where hope is acknowledged as false and temporary. it's oddly ironic how I continued to listen to the end of this story hoping for something bright to come - but it only turned into tedious preaching.... so the point of the book was made, there is no hope or joy in this book (and no art either)


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

    the ukranian was executed with skill - and particularly the "gang" where individual speakers could be clearly identified despite their heavy russian accents


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

    The narration is quite skillful and the writing style is clever clever in places – but the story is far too long and drones preachily (especially near the end)


    Any additional comments?

    if you prefer dark stories or nihilistic philosophy and want real art, try the classics: Dostoyevsky or Camus

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BooksRMe U.S. 08-10-14
    BooksRMe U.S. 08-10-14 Listener Since 2008
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    9
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    "Excellent Read"
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    The author kept me interested until the last sentence.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    The pace and passion of the reading was well-done.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the story-line. It was not a book where I "knew" the ending; instead it was one that kept me guessing until the end. Fun read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerri Port St. Lucie, FL, United States 08-08-14
    Gerri Port St. Lucie, FL, United States 08-08-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Philosophy aside, get to the point!"

    Theo, unknowingly has PTSD. He has been traumatized. He hasn't begun to label what ever is going on with him, but he slogs through the day to day trying to cope with changes that had occurred in his life. Time goes by. Theo must relocate with an unsavory parent. He leaves all friends and familiar surroundings. Sad and lonely he again trys to cope with change. He becomes a teenage druggie and alchoholic. Here is where the reader gets a complete rundown of drugs, how to take, the conditions that would be favorable and what will kill you. That's when the philosophical drunken, drug induced monologues begin. Most remain the same into his 20's. Too long and tiresome. If it wasn't for the perfect narration of this book, it would have lost me immediately.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen D. King 08-08-14
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    "Great book."
    Any additional comments?

    I didn't think I would like this book based on the publisher's summary. But I am very glad I took the chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben houston, TX, United States 08-08-14
    Ben houston, TX, United States 08-08-14 Member Since 2014
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    5
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    "For once I wish I had the abridged version"
    Would you try another book from Donna Tartt and/or David Pittu?

    Yes, David Pittu was a god narrator. Probably not another Donna Tartt, though. The book was at least 10 hours longer than necessary. The descriptions drug on, and the main character became less believable as his behavior became more and more bizarre.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Silkworm


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    Very good narration, accents, and sounded genuine in all characters.


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

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tia B 08-03-14
    Tia B 08-03-14
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    2
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    "Amazing."
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    I loved the growth of the main character & the tragedy he survived. It took a small turn that I did not expect, but I loved the book!!! I found myself sitting in the car until the next pause. A very, very great book.


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

    The ending.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancie Kennedy 08-03-14 Member Since 2009
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    46
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    "too lengthy & over-written?"
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    interesting complicated plot - glimpse into world of international art & antique dealers, NYC wealthy urban society vs Las Vegas seediness & boredom


    What did you like best about this story?

    insight into mind & incredible story of an intelligent but traumatized, lonely adolescent boy


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

    Theo Decker


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

    appropriate title


    Any additional comments?

    much too long & wordy - serious editing needed!
    abrupt, disappointing, moralizing ending with unresolved relationships left hanging

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Purtiman 08-02-14 Member Since 2014

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Artful Masterpiece"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen to the story again; and most definitely will.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Listening to the tragedies each character survives; and how they go through their lives looking for healing.. Learning how each person copes.


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

    I have not heard David Pittu's performances previously.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The moment that Theo learns his father has been killed in an accident; the thoughts going through my mind such as how can this character stand one more tragedy in his life. I got this frantic feeling when he was trying to get Boris to leave with him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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