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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 (14087 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anna 07-14-14
    Anna 07-14-14
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    5
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    "I didn't want it to end"
    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    The narrator provided great voice effects and accents.


    Any additional comments?

    I became so attached to the characters, so drawn in to their world, I didn't want the story to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kim dubray Sacramento, Ca 07-13-14
    kim dubray Sacramento, Ca 07-13-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Engaging"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    Possibly.


    What other book might you compare The Goldfinch to and why?

    Kite runner because both young men experience life in profound ways.


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

    The narration was captivating


    Who was the most memorable character of The Goldfinch and why?

    Hogie because he was like a hippee. Make love not war


    Any additional comments?

    Story was engaging. Wanted to listen for hours on end

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Viki ABERDEEN, MS, United States 07-12-14
    Viki ABERDEEN, MS, United States 07-12-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Couldn't put it down!"
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    Donna Tartt paints this story with incredible skill and in language that stays with you. The characters are painfully genuine ...no caricatures here... and you leave off trying to save them from themselves early on. They have set their feet on a unconventional path and will reap what they sow whether you like it or not. Extraordinary!


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

    The moments in the museum...from beginning to end...are so real, you can feel the grit in your teeth, and hear the ringing in your ears.


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

    No...I was unfamiliar with his work until now. Will absolutely look for him in the future.


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

    I wouldn't change a thing about the book...let alone the title.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm off to read another Donna Tartt book....I'm hooked!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wendybee 07-10-14
    wendybee 07-10-14 Member Since 2015
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    "A minority opinion"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Obviously some people (lots of people) enjoy this book, something I find baffling and a bit disturbing. My son in law recommended it and I didn't know it was such a best seller and prize winner. I took his recommendation and read Stephen King's review and didn't look much beyond that. Almost from the start I didn't like it - Theo's descriptions of his mother sound like a lover describing his girlfriend, I found it creepy. Was this going to be an incest story? And it's SO LONG... it goes ON and ON. The download is in four parts, and when I was nearing the end of part 3 I thought that was the end of the book, I was counting the minutes - and when I realized there was YET ANOTHER whole part to go, another 6 plus hours, I actually said out loud, "Oh no!" I almost never stop reading a book before the end, but I'm tempted with this one. I find the writing terribly repetitive and unimaginative - when I decided to dig in and read more reviews, I couldn't believe all the glowing descriptions. Were we talking about the same book?? A couple of the characters are appealing - especially Hobie - but none are believable. They have sudden unexplained changes of personality and do improbable things with no explanation. And what the heck does Hobie see in Theo? Theo is self destructive and self involved and continually making bad and stupid decisions and letting Hobie down, and in a way that isn't even interesting, it's just annoying. The whole thing reads like a romance novel - the one thing I'm grateful for is that at least there aren't ghastly sex scenes. I like the narrator's interpretation of Boris and Hobie, but the voice he gives Theo (the book is in the first person) is overwrought and whiney. I can't wait till it's over.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa banks, OR, United States 07-09-14
    Theresa banks, OR, United States 07-09-14 Member Since 2011
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    "intense"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Intense, dark, melancholy


    What did you like best about this story?

    extremely well written the narration was beautifully done


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

    hard to choose just one


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

    Hmmm, not sure i can answer this


    Any additional comments?

    This book transports you into the story and i found i felt a bit off while reading it as it has many dark and sadly melancholy moments
    It is so well written and i enjoyed it , but found myself ready for light summer reading after i finished it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-08-14
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    "Eh - not great but not bad"

    Repetative and too long but inside all of the words (many many words) a good story is in there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 07-07-14
    Jennifer 07-07-14 Member Since 2013
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    "I couldn't take any more after the first hour :-("
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing. This book is a Pulitzer Prize winner and I just can't imagine how. I listen to books while driving. It literally took 45 minutes of driving for the author to describe exiting an apartment, hailing a cab, and riding in the cab. It was putting me to sleep, thus a safety hazard and I had to delete the book.


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

    Edited about 2/3 of the words out of the story.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I can't blame then narrator. I don't know how he stayed awake reading the text.


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean 07-07-14
    Jean 07-07-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Best narration ever"
    What does David Pittu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    David Pittu made this story come to life. I listen to a book a week and he is, far and away, the best narrator I've ever hear. His grasp of accents is miraculous!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-06-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-06-14 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    "MODERN AMERICAN TRAGEDY"

    “The Goldfinch” reminds one of “An American Tragedy”, written by Theodore Dreiser in the 1920s. “The Goldfinch is a modern American’ tragedy. Donna Tartt explores the 21st century through the life of an orphaned boy named Theo Decker.

    Theo, like Clyde Griffiths, is seduced by the glamour and thrill of big city life and unexplored opportunity. Tartt’s back story is similar to Dreiser’s but attuned to more modern-day beliefs like genetic inheritance, post traumatic stress disorder, and the drug culture.

    Tartt gives many clues about which road Theo will take. Genetics, drugs, and PTSD, are among Theo’s roadblocks to a future. It is up to the reader or listener to surmise Theo’s choice; even asTartt completes her tale. This is a classic 21st century story of an American life, expertly narrated by David Pittu.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris 07-06-14
    chris 07-06-14 Member Since 2013

    Love to walk and listen. Commute and listen. I typically enjoy well developed characters mixed with a good mystery.

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    "Interesting"
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    I really enjoyed the narrator and his portrayal of most of the characters. I probably wouldn't re-listen because the story itself didn't grab me as much.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Donna Tartt? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the relationship between Theo and Boris and Theo and Hobie. These characters were well defined so well they allowed me to overlook some monologues that went on and on. The story itself was just OK.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    He was AMAZING!!! He gave each character a voice and brought them to life. I'll miss Boris the most, especially when he and Theo argued like brothers.


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

    I'd take Hobie out because he seems like he has a lots of fun stories to share.


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoy the well written characters and you'll enjoy the book. For me the story itself and how things tied together was a little off. The good news is that I enjoyed the interaction between the characters so much (mainly because of the narrator) that I didn't really care about the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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