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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 (8692 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Julie Greenwood, IN, United States 01-30-14
    Julie Greenwood, IN, United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    60
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    "So good it hurts to know it will end..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    There is no doubt David Pittu's performance of this book adds tremedously to text. Never over the top, able to distinquish his charactors and able to capture each respectfully, he should win an award for this performace.


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

    I can't say since I haven't yet finished.


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

    The narrator.


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

    It made me want to call in sick so I could stay home and listen. I would have, too, except then the book would have ended that much sooner.


    Any additional comments?

    I decided a quarter of the way through that this was one of my all-time favorite books. Now, halfway through, I already know I'm giong to listen to it again and again. It's a beautiful, terrible journey through someone's life that feels simultaniously incredible and all too close to home.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Tarrytown, NY, United States 01-30-14
    Susan Tarrytown, NY, United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Book, Fantastic Performance by Pittu"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is compelling, the characters are wonderful, and it's hard to put it down. I am so glad I got this as an Audio Book. The reader is FANTASTIC!!!! He reads the book in the accents of all the different characters and his ability to imitate accents is incredible and is laugh-out-loud funny at times. The rich family from the upper east side, the Russian character Boris, the antique dealer - he has them all down perfectly. I love the book and LOVE Pittu, the Reader.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Round Rock, TX, United States 01-28-14
    Kelly Round Rock, TX, United States 01-28-14 Member Since 2013
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    12
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Pleasantly Surprised"
    What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

    The way the narrator changes his voice and accent to go along with the characters is perfect. Excellent job.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't exactly sure what to expect as I generally listen to mystery and suspense, however this title and it's reviews caught my eye. I was very impressed with the way the book was written in present and past tense; some authors have trouble switching between the two. Excellent listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie BETHLEHEM, NH, United States 01-28-14
    Leslie BETHLEHEM, NH, United States 01-28-14 Member Since 2004
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    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where did this all come from?"
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    A story of astounding imagination, of sympathetic characters, and impeccable writing.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    Outstanding. Extraordinary.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-27-14
    01-27-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    73
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    "Good story but on and on drug scenes"

    Liked the story and characters but the whole thing would have been more enjoyable with fewer drug use scenes and lengthy wandering self examinations by Theo. Yes we get the point. Theo was disturbed with PTS, loss of his mother and a lousy father. Theo's final analysis of why we are here on this earth was well done but sad too as he couldn't come up with much of a purpose for our existence.

    Rich descriptions are given of New York City, Vegas, Art and Antiques. Narration was good with voices of sleazy Xandra, Ukrainian Boris, teenage Theo and many other characters very believable. Listening was doable but reading a hard copy book would be difficult. The comparison to Dickens was spot on when it came to lengthy descriptions and rambling monologs.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Brooks Seattle, WA United States 01-27-14
    W. Brooks Seattle, WA United States 01-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Easy to see why it's a best seller"

    Strong story. Great characters. Perhaps a little long, but kept me involved. I liked the complexity of the main character.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen McDaniel Santa Rosa, CA USA 01-27-14
    Maureen McDaniel Santa Rosa, CA USA 01-27-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the most amazing listens ever"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    Maybe . . . it was a beautiful listen but the strong plot was as much a factor as the writing and the characters, so I don't know if I'd be so drawn to read it again.


    Any additional comments?

    An amazing, sweeping book with such detail and richness in so many topics. I can't believe the work and research that Donna Tartt must have done to accomplish this feat.
    Art, antiques, furniture restoration, teen drug use, families, Las Vegas, New York, New York society, gambling hoods, adult love, dissolute Europeans and corrupt Russians, art theft and forgery . . . tender young love and adult friendship . . . wow. The main character is mesmerizing and the voice is so real as he ages into adulthood.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debra BEL AIR, MD, United States 01-26-14
    debra BEL AIR, MD, United States 01-26-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Didn't want it to end ...."

    The longest book in my library.. I didn't want it to end. I could have stayed with characters another 30 hours.
    This was not my usual pick, I am not sure how I ended up with the purchase. But no dissappointement here.
    Characters were living and breathing through the narrator.. amazing capture...I was sucked in.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Greenstein Dobbs Ferry, NY 01-26-14
    Michael Greenstein Dobbs Ferry, NY 01-26-14 Member Since 2008

    greeniad

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Homage to Dickens. But worh the effort?"

    You are in the hands of a wonderful writer. And he characters are sharper drawn. But I found myself wishing that this marathon of a book would simply come to an end. (Was Tartt paid by the word?) I read the other reviews which were glorious. I simply was not bowled over.

    I recently saw the painting of the Goldfinch displayed at The Frick in NYC. It gave me a better appreciation of the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TC53 WINDSOR, IL, United States 01-24-14
    TC53 WINDSOR, IL, United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whew..what a long, strange trip it's been"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a very well written book, but kind of depressing overall. The kind of book that does make you think about it long after you are finished reading it. Maybe it struck too close to home in some ways, and if you've ever dealt with some of the issues in the book, it makes you relive them. There is some good humor woven throughout the book, which I really enjoyed and saved it from becoming a downer, but even that had a bite to it. A very good read overall. The narrater was excellent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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