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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 (13289 )
5 star
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4.1 (12043 )
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4.5 (12018 )
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    C. Cooper New York 11-02-14
    C. Cooper New York 11-02-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Rewarding Read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. A very engaging voice telling a most fascinating story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Following Theo's journey from his childhood to a being fully realized adult.


    Did David Pittu do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He excelled in Russian accents, not so much others. Didn't particularly care for his female voices.


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

    Made me cry at the end. Very beautiful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley Coates New Hampshire 11-01-14
    Shelley Coates New Hampshire 11-01-14 Member Since 2011

    Koontz Fanatic

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "UGGG"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I would have cut out about half of the book and give the characters some kind of end.


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    The length of the book, totally unnecessary.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the boys were teenagers and doing all of the things teenagers do.


    What character would you cut from The Goldfinch?

    I would cut Pippa, she seems to be a slight distraction that goes nowhere


    Any additional comments?

    This book started strong and the dragged on for what seemed like eternity only to disappoint me n the end. Almost all of the characters are unlikeable and the story goes nowhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn 10-30-14
    Dawn 10-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best Ever!"
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    The characters


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything


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

    The voices and accents of characters


    Any additional comments?

    I have never read a book twice until The Goldfinch--I've read it twice, and will read a third time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail 10-28-14
    Gail 10-28-14 Member Since 2012

    Love audible and books.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Golden Let Down!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book was like watching a colorful wall of drying paint. Though everything was artfully described word after word the book never really got to the point. A lot of drama and no point.


    What could Donna Tartt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I am not sure... the main character was hard to be sympathetic to, just bad choice after bad choice.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Pittu’s performances?

    Maybe- I didn't care for his character voices. His regular reading voice was fine. I think it is more that I hate the book then the performance.


    What character would you cut from The Goldfinch?

    So many to choose from. The list is to long.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to say I hated! This book it was depressing, and I kept thinking the plot is going to begin at anytime. It never really did. There were things I found interesting but not enough to recommend the book or ever want to give 32 hours of my life to it again. It was one depressing thing after another... drama, trama that followed the main character from childhood into adulthood. Most of all unbelievable in even though it was a work of fiction. I just wouldn't recommend to anyone to waste their time, unless they enjoy depressing books with no point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    smith 10-28-14
    smith 10-28-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing again and again and again!!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    I don't think it's better, but it's definitely not worse.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters are just so real. No one in this story seems contrived. I related most closely to Theo. I connected with this character instantly from the first time I read the book. His life and mine have some similarities, as well as personalities. I LOVED this story.


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

    Boris - he did a perfect Russian accent! I was nervous listening to this after first reading it because I didn't want my interpretation of the characters I loved so much to change. David Pittu did such an amazing job. His Boris was spot on!!....well all his characters were actually.


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

    I couldn't even begin to imagine this amazing book by any other name.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this on Kindle for the first time and when I finished it, I read it again. I fell in love with it so much that I just had to have it in my hand. My daughter bought it for my birthday and I read the hardback. Then, I saw it on audiobooks and bought it that way too. Listened to it and fell in love all over again. No book has ever touched me the way this one has.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Delray Beach, FL United States 10-28-14
    Anna Delray Beach, FL United States 10-28-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Removing the blah blah middle of the book


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

    Excellent reader.
    Expressions superlative.


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

    The middle was long and boring.


    Any additional comments?

    How could such a dynamic beginning lead to such a long story?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe K Boston 10-27-14
    Joe K Boston 10-27-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "best book I've listen too in a while."
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    The book was wonderful from start to finish. I would highly recommend to anybody there were a lot of great story's involved in the main story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva Rose 10-27-14
    Eva Rose 10-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Intricate and superb, with excellent narration!"
    Which character – as performed by David Pittu – was your favorite?

    Most of them! I have a long commute so I listen to a lot of audible books. This reader stands out in the best way. So many books I've purchase have been spoiled by a less-than-stellar performance in the reading, but next to a read-by-the author book, this one is one of the best! It can't be easy for a man to perform women's characters, and the voice of Kitsey was a bit funny, but overall one of the best audible performances I've heard.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is loooong, but it held my interest throughout. Many times I found myself not wanting to get out of the car yet so I could hear what happened next! But that made my commutes something to look forward to, which I am grateful for. A classically wonderful book and fantastic narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy G Pennsylvania 10-26-14
    Andy G Pennsylvania 10-26-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring and long"
    What disappointed you about The Goldfinch?

    Way too descriptive and wordy. Story could have been told in half the time.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Donna Tartt again?

    Probably not.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Cut back on all the unnecessary description. So much was not instrumental in the story. Found myself drifting off so many times during this story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Fyler 10-25-14
    D. Fyler 10-25-14 Member Since 2014

    chocoholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    84
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A beautiful and moving book"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    I loved the book. It was a truly beautiful production. It does remind me of Dickens in the way that it is but sentimental but has a certain depth of emotion that it is ver difficult for some writers to present.

    It was bit long to listen to in its entirety, but I would definitely re listen to certain scenes.


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

    There were slot of memorable emotional scenes, but I think the scenes of the the main characters witnessing the interaction between the members of the family that took him in were spot on.


    Any additional comments?

    A great book, full of heart and soul. The characters were truly alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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