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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 (12776 )
5 star
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4.2 (11582 )
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4.5 (11555 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (177)
Performance
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  •  
    Review 09-06-14
    Review 09-06-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    34
    6
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    "There aren't enough stars"

    I have more than 30 listens behind me and this is by far the best performance I have heard. The story is great, but the performance takes it to a whole new level. You'll be hooked from the first page.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Missouri St. Louis, MO USA 09-05-14
    Missouri St. Louis, MO USA 09-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    4
    3
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    Story
    "Slow..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book was so slow and detailed about the most minute details that you lose interest in the story. One of the few I couldn't finish.


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

    Left out the inane minutia!


    What three words best describe David Pittu’s voice?

    nice


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Verhagen 09-04-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Way Too much "Desctiption""
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This Book was too long and "Heavy". I kept listening hoping to get to the end. The Narrator was wonderful which his the only thing that kept me listening. Too many descriptors in most areas of the book that should have only taken a sentence or two went on for paragraphs and in a lot of cases chapters.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Just get to the point in most instances.


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

    It would probably be best as a movie due to the intense description of most places and circumstances. It would be much shorter as a movie than an book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lilian Santos 09-04-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Unexpected Gem"

    Although I had read very good reviews I thought it might be boring but I found it fascinating. Very well written and goes to very unexpected routes. All the time, being fascinating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 09-03-14
    Kathi 09-03-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    49
    14
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    Story
    "Guilt, real or perceived shaped his life."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. The art history was interesting, as was the historical narration about the furniture and it's construction but the overwhelming weight this young boy and man carried his entire life was almost too much. I considered a few times just stopping.


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

    Nice wrap up, which I did not see coming.


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

    Boris (spelling). He was so unapologetic about everything he did but he loved 'Potter' more than himself.


    Did The Goldfinch inspire you to do anything?

    Refinish furniture! Mix my own furniture polish!


    Any additional comments?

    This was recommended by a friend and I recommended it for our bookclub. After that, I doubt I will recommend any further. Just too heavy for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SuzieB 09-02-14
    SuzieB 09-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    13
    6
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    Story
    "A literary box of chocolates!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I found myself, time and again, going back to re-read (or re-listen to) sentences in this book because they were written in such a perfect manner. Not to mention that the story, and the characters, will stay with you for a long time.
    As a mother of 2 young sons, I never thought I'd be able to stomach a book about a boy losing his mother at a young age but the story just grips you.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Following the main character throughout his childhood all the way to adulthood and seeing how along the road, though it was a tough road, he grew into a pretty balanced young man. How who he was as a young boy, before losing his mother, never really left him, even though he was dealt a lot of bad luck along the way.


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

    I love how he performs Hobie's voice. It lends such a richness to how I pictured that older genteleman


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

    I wouldn't


    Any additional comments?

    READ THIS NOW!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julie kadoshima tyrone, ga United States 09-02-14
    julie kadoshima tyrone, ga United States 09-02-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    51
    4
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    Story
    "dont let the length of the book scare you off..."
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    one of the most entertaining, lovely books that i have listened to as of yet!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Theo- after you "read" (hear) this book- you will know why....


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the seemingly disconnected history that Theo tells you of and brings you into that is his life.


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

    Hobie- loved the way he looked at life for its honesty and humility


    Any additional comments?

    look past the almost 33 hrs... give this book a listen. WELL WORTH IT!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Lagorio 09-01-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing!!"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    Typically I don't read books again but this book had soo much! What a life Theo had I know I missed something.


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

    I loved Hobie!!


    Any additional comments?

    This book kept me interested from beginning to end....I actually did not want it to end...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry 08-31-14
    Harry 08-31-14 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
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    "Worst book ever rated so highly"
    Would you try another book from Donna Tartt and/or David Pittu?

    Never. Most disappointing highly ranked book I've ever read


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    Such an unbelievable book about a boy growing to a man. A male would never have written this, and it surely was written by a female. It was not at all believable. Very pretentious to say the least. The main characters are the least sympathitic and down right stupid. Thurston Howell III and Lovey, grown men calling their parents Mommy and Daddy. Please. How this book could get a 4.2 makes me want to quit using the rankings of audibles. This is the worst of perhaps the last 75 books I have read.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He was down right the worst narrator, but it was also a terribly written book. I hope never to see this author again having wasted so many hours on this piece of crap


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

    The entire book


    Any additional comments?

    I do not write reviews usually, but when a book is as bad as this, and it is highly rated, I want to warn others to not bother on this. Absolutely terrible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scarlett 08-30-14
    Scarlett 08-30-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    116
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    "Don't listen to the critics. Just read it."
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    It was almost like reading an opera. I was enthralled with each part and each word. Such marvelous writing. Thank you so much. I completely neglected my life for about 4 days while I listened -- I couldn't stop. As a person who knows young people well, the perceptions were "right on." Love, sex, school, drugs, etc. memories & friendships too were amazingly described to a point where I could have cried in parts.


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

    When he realizes that his red headed beauty was not the woman he needed and could love.


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

    Oh, the voice was perfect. As the book changed, the voice changed beautifully.


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

    I'd keep it the same because it is and isn't about a painting.


    Any additional comments?

    I am excited to read other works by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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