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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 )
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4.1 (12043 )
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4.5 (12018 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joanna Daneman USA 07-03-14
    Joanna Daneman USA 07-03-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a story! Loved this audiobook"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's in the top quarter, mainly because The Goldfinch is a LONG book and the narration makes it delightful for relaxing reading-listening. I read the book first on my Kindle but when I can't read (driving, etc) it's wonderful to "re-read" this exciting novel in Audible format.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story of a damaged hero and his coming-of-age, the weird relationship with Boris, the fate of the valuable painting--a lot of surprises. Very vivid.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    Just the right narration, good character voices


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it's too long, but it does lend itself to being broken up into chapters or sections.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a flawed novel in many ways (the end is a mess) but it still was one I could not put down and I think it deserved its award. I loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Jones Tallahassee, Florida 07-03-14
    Debbie Jones Tallahassee, Florida 07-03-14 Member Since 2013

    I love a good mystery and love books that have been turned into movies. Avid reader, music enthusiast and pop culture junkie.

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    "Brilliant story and narration!!"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    I would definitely listen to it again on a very long road trip.


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

    I've never listened to any of his performances before but I will certainly look for others. He is so talented with all the accents and there are just so many in this novel.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra A. Mohollen Sanatoga, PA USA 07-02-14
    Debra A. Mohollen Sanatoga, PA USA 07-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    35
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    "Intense Delve into the Psyche"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Intense, Real, Connected


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Boris - his actions are true to who he knows himself to be and he has a way of being comfortable in his own skin.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    His delivery matched what I would envision as Theo perfectly. His change in characters was also very good (a lot of range), but Theo is the main character/narrator so most critical.


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

    The name is perfect. I wasn't sure it was the best title for a long time, but, read it and you will agree. It is perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    Trust this book. At points I was thinking, what is the point? It doesn't meander. I don't mean that. But, you read the title and you read the jacket and you sometimes wonder, huh? But, it all makes sense and is all necessary to bring you to just where you need to be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BookLovingLady Los Angeles 07-02-14
    BookLovingLady Los Angeles 07-02-14 Member Since 2014

    I love a book full of heart, psychological wisdom and humor.

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    "Engaging, Yet Disappointing"
    Any additional comments?

    The Goldfinch's opening few chapters got me hooked on this novel that just didn't live up to it's promise (much like the protagonist himself). We follow Theo Decker as he floats through life, passively, devoid of any sense of personal responsibility. I kept waiting for him to evolve, but he never did! I've never been a fan of the literary device in which someone's refusal to communicate is the catalyst of misfortune. Sadly, this book uses that device over and over and over. It made caring about Theo very frustrating. On the bright side, Donna Tartt creates some very likable and well drawn characters, such as Boris and Hobie. The narrator does an excellent job with his sensitive reading and rich characterization. I removed one star from his score only because his female characters all sounded like very swishy gay men rather than actual females. Other than that he did a wonderful job. The ending was a let down because the author suddenly falls into the trap of preacing; telling, not showing the themes and "message" of the book. There was no real conclusion. There was some beautiful writing throughout this novel proving that Donna Tartt has great talent and obviously worked very hard to write this book. I just think that it wasn't thought out enough to make this a moving or satisfying read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Glen Echo, MD, United States 06-29-14
    David Glen Echo, MD, United States 06-29-14
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Hard to answer that one. I'm still listening but really just trying to get through this never ending tome. The problem is that Ms. Tartt has so many obscure literary "inserts" in this book that are our of context with the characters. Yes, we can see how erudite she is and that's always fun, but I am finding most of this book rambling and distracting.


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    The quality of the writing really bothered me. Self serving ramblings throughout the book were distracting and confused this reader who lost the thread. Also, the boys' character development episodes and drug use, etc. did not ring true at all. I know she gets great reviews and is considered a sort of genius, but she might want to read something from Pat Conroy to get a lesson in novel writing. Also, I went out of my way to watch a couple of interviews where she shoed up in a man's outfit, complete with tie, etc. She looked ridiculous and that compromised her credibility as an author.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    It was a good read...the Russian accent kinda came and went. The difference between male and female characters wasn't real good. Also, the Park Avenue "lockjaw" sound for the New York family was really stunted. Guidall would have been better.


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

    I think it could make an interesting movie, with a lot of editing.


    Any additional comments?

    Well...I didn't return it. That says something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teri Adams CLEARWATER, FL, US 06-29-14
    Teri Adams CLEARWATER, FL, US 06-29-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Not for me"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who likes a very SLOW build.


    Has The Goldfinch turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    What didn’t you like about David Pittu’s performance?

    The performer did his best but the story did not engage me.


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

    I can't recommend anything about this book. I just kept waiting for something to happen that would make it worth continuing listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Florida USA 06-28-14
    Kate Florida USA 06-28-14 Member Since 2011

    Gracie Kate

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    "Just finished listening for the 3rd time!"

    Emotionally captivating. Intellectually stimulating. Brilliant storyline. Never ending - never dull. This is and will be one of my all time favorite stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Richards 06-28-14
    A. Richards 06-28-14 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "Gripping"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Boris is my favorite character. He is a strong personality, crafty, and seemingly independent. It becomes evident that Boris has a soft side that also desires parental love and approval.


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

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I hated to turn it off.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pollyanna Austin, TX, United States 06-27-14
    Pollyanna Austin, TX, United States 06-27-14

    Pollyanna

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    "Love it on so many levels"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    I absolutely love this book. It's complex, intriguing and mysterious. And I love love the performance. David has done such a great job! David - if you are reading this - this is the best performance of a book IMO. Well done!! I look forward to listening to more books performed by you.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 06-26-14
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 06-26-14 Member Since 2014

    I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Novel! Unbelievable Narrator!"

    I think this could very well be the Great American Novel! A fantastic story that you become absorbed in, become part of, have a stake in...you feel the pain and the joy of Theo and Boris and those who are part of their lives. It is somehow easy to accept their choices even though you know they are wrong because you so deeply understand who they are. All I can say is "Wow!"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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