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The Goldfinch Audiobook

The Goldfinch

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction 2014

Longlisted – Baileys Women’s Prize 2014

Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2013

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

©2013 Tay Ltd (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (344 )
5 star
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3 star
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4.2 (309 )
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4.5 (311 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rebecca SOUTH HURSTVILLE, Australia 01-14-14
    Rebecca SOUTH HURSTVILLE, Australia 01-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    38
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    "Evocative performance"
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Rambling, compelling, absorbing


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

    Although not similar in content, it brought to mind The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, for its rich characterisation, intricacy and detail of plot and extreme differences in locale (possibly also because the bulk of both books is set in New York).


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

    It's a toss up between Boris and Hobie.


    Any additional comments?

    David Pittu's performance was excellent. The characters all sounded distinct and his voice is very easy to listen to. That, added to Tartt's characterisation, created a book full of rich characters who were easy to picture.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin M. 04-20-17
    Robin M. 04-20-17 Member Since 2016
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    4
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    "Fabulous narration."

    The thread of the story, which is a painting, weaves through the life of its main character and his tragedies, adventures, and friendships. Beautiful in prose. Poignant, I didn't want it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ma Lingyun 02-12-17
    Ma Lingyun 02-12-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Big book"

    Big book, I felt relieved when I finally finished reading. Donna Tart is surely good at giving details, surroundings, backgrounds, moods and etc. Tart has her own writing style, the book did remind me of another of her books- the secret history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 01-16-17
    James 01-16-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
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    Story
    "Why I loved this book"

    It is as if Donna Tartt decided to write a beautiful art essay on the goldenfinch but decided to tell so much more. This story is soaked in art its disturbing, gutreching nauseating and extremely beautiful. Self destructive behavior on grand scale. a True portray of ptsd and the hush hush way society deals with it. Definitely one of my favorite books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul SligoIreland 11-06-16
    Paul SligoIreland 11-06-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    37
    4
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    "Skip"

    Almost ok until the last few chapters - but after forgiving tons of inappropriate philosophising the terminal torrent with the author inserting herself into her three main characters to indulge is just too much - if M's reactions in Holland had been quicker it might have been bearable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ninell Pretoria, South Africa 10-08-16
    Ninell Pretoria, South Africa 10-08-16 Member Since 2015

    Avid listener - when I drive, do home chores, lie in the hammock under the tree...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Life changing"

    Honest, sensitive... characters that became so alive I feel as if I've known them for years. Brilliantly narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Izak 10-03-16
    Izak 10-03-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unchosen Hearts, Beautiful Characters"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    Yes, though this is only due to Pittu's magic. The book is beautiful, with some of the passages too fleeting when read aloud, gone. I want go back and reread, hold tight the beautiful melancholy, the cold irony, the tragic truths and the beautiful illusions.


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

    'the vivid characters' is what I remember reading on the back of the book. This sounds like a generic description, really, so I didn't expect something specific about this to stand out. And how absolutely bowled out I was by the 'vivid characters'! There is nothing generic about them, they are unique, broken, accepting their fate, fighting their fate, searching for their place in the world - they are colourful and absolutely brilliant!


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

    David Pittu has raised narration to a new kind of art in my mind. I have never considered narration to be more than someone reading out loud, but David Pittu, his interpretations of the characters, has brought it to life in a way I could not have imagined! The many accents that he produces (Hispanic, Russian, German, smoker, old guy, lady - whatever the character needs, David Pittu produces) has been an absolute treat to listen to! My favourite was his imitation of Xandra (smokey voice, "with an 'X', not with a 'Z') - I could so clearly see this lady, her whole character, in my mind! I have only praise for David Pittu!


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

    We Cannot Choose Our Heart


    Any additional comments?

    This has become my favourite book of all time, with the characters still walking around in my thoughts. I do wish to read the printed copy, as there were some beautiful passages, thought-provoking ideas, cold philosophies sinking deep into my heart, beautiful tragedies that are scattered all through the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 07-30-16
    Jennifer 07-30-16 Member Since 2013
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    1
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    "Simply Outstanding"

    This book contains all that a reader of fiction could ask for. It is beautifully written, with exquisite detail and keen observation throughout. At the same time, it is also a wonderfully satisfying story, with a carefully managed plot. Finally, the vocal performance of the reader is a marvel, with all characters clearly differentiated by accent and tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms O. Kolesnichenko UK 04-25-16 Member Since 2016

    Oksana

    ratings
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    2
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    "gripping story,very well read,unexpected turns."

    very sorry to finish it.will have to find a new read as good as this

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ayreej 12-01-15
    Ayreej 12-01-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
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    "Pure gold"

    Brilliant writing and amazing narration. At times you would find it a bit macabre and sad but underneath it's pure gold.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • P1969
    6/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly gripping story"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was one of the most enjoyable performances I listened to recently - certainly among the top 5.
    The story starts with an utterly mesmerising account of a bomb explosion in a New York Museum. In that explosion, the young protagonist loses his mother but gains an artwork and a love that will haunt his life. To say more would spoil everything, but you'll be hooked from the start. The characters are fascinating, utterly believable and the plot engrossing if just this side of believable - whenever you think it couldn't get worse, it does. Much here revolves around friendship and love, greed and commitment, money and drugs, class and exclusion.


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

    The plot and characters feel Dickensian - the motherless child, the stolen artwork, the unattainable love, an artful dodger as best friend, bad company, avuncular protectors, upper class people whom one ends up pitying…. The ending is disappointing, as if Tartt couldn't quite work out how to get her man out of the story, and the genre slides into some absurd thriller-like writing that felt rather forced. However, what comes before the final hour is absolutely worth listening to.The Goldfinch is the title of a painting whose fate is tied up with that of the protagonist, and as such this device is reminiscent of Henry James (in The Wings of the Dove or The Golden Bowl). But the writing couldn't be more unlike the prose of the later James - clear, sharp, and well-paced.


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

    This was my first encounter with Pittu. The performance contributes much to making this book engrossing: the characters become real and the accents add so much to the characterisation. It's a wonderful achievement.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The protagonist stumbles from one loss to the next, first the mother, then his love, then his best friend, but some of these can be regained… Leaving his mother's flat behind and discovering the truth about his father is the most painful bit, and rendered very poignantly.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a flawed novel - the ending really wobbles - but characterisation and plotting are handled masterfully. Thoroughly enjoyable. A real storyteller or a writer.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • K
    United Kingdom
    5/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "just couldn't get into it (sorry)"
    What disappointed you about The Goldfinch?

    I know this book is feted and I have listened to the whole thing to try and give it a chance. it is beautifully narrated and I can totally appreciate and respect the beauty of much of the descriptive narrative. But as a story designed to enthral, grip, excite, inspire, scare or shock me- it totally failed. I was bored throughout. Overly long descriptive passages merged together and I felt disconnected from the anti-hero and all his exploits. Not even the vibrant passages relating to the art interested me-it just left me totally bored and unable to appreciate the appeal. I love a good story but with this I could take it or leave it. I feel guilty writing this, I persevered to the end but would I recommend this book? Only if you want to fall asleep and learn about drugs. Beautifully narrated however.


    How could the performance have been better?

    It is beautifully narrated


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

    Narration and production values


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sheila
    Dublin, Ireland
    11/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book I've listened to this year"

    This book was wonderful, both the story and the narration. It has spoiled me for anything else and I mourn its finishing. I might just start listening to it from the beginning again!

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Jacqueline
    Aylesbury, Bucks, United Kingdom
    2/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing depressing depressing - all 32 hours"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book certainly wasn't for me! I like a challenge but to lurch from one disastrous scenario to another without respite was just too dismal. I appreciate there will be people out there who sadly go through similar events to these, but I could not take the relentless agony.


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

    The only redeeming quality for me was the narration. David did an excellent job of portraying the characters


    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Cabaspre
    Mallorca
    1/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterpiece. 32 hrs 23 mins. Not a second too long"
    Any additional comments?

    Donna Tartt is an astounding storyteller. She writes in such an understated way; no histrionics, no superfluous words and always allows the reader to feel what they want to feel without having been obviously led to that emotion.

    This was part thriller, romance, mystery, gangland, family and a historical art book. What I was left with was the profound philosophy of Hobie, Boris and Theo. All so different but all wonderfully succinct.

    The narrator was astonishingly good. There was not one jarring moment when any accent grated on the ear. He "sensed" Theo's state of angst so convincingly I was moved to tears on occasions and I gasped in fear, willing the main character to listen to his inner good sense.

    If Donna Tartt waits another eleven years before publishing a book - that is fine by me. I am sure it will be worth my patience.

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Demirep
    LONDON, England
    8/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh for God's sake, woman. Get to the POINT!"
    What did you like most about The Goldfinch?

    I spent many a happy hour trying to work out which Dickens character she is using at any given point (warning--it can be a couple of them at the same time) .


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

    The bus journey from Nevada to New York, smuggling a forbidden passenger (a small dog) in a bag.


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

    This is the first reading by Pittu that I have heard. He did well considering all the voices involved, but failed pretty badly with the character of Boris who, born in Ukraine, had spent several years in an Australian environment as a child. The narrator describes him as speaking good English but with a strange combination of accents--"Russian" but mixed with some Australian. Pittu made no attempt to put the Australian in and the boy in his early teens was given a slavic accent which remained every bit as strong even after he had grown up to adulthood in the US. You'd think at least the edges would have worn off by then.


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

    Considering its length, one sitting would have been possible only if I had no family, no life and was hooked up to an intravenous coffee drip and a urinary catheter.


    Any additional comments?

    The book could have been about half the length without any loss of plot or punch. It was a good story and well populated by interesting people. The younger Theo is very well represented and Tartt gives us some thought-provoking insights into the world of an adolescent boy growing up in difficult, chaotic circumstances. Although in my opinion we can thank Dickens for the templates, particularly of the more eccentric characters and the style which involves a lot of unlikely, fortunate co-incidences and convenient legacies, there is nothing wrong with bringing a winning formula up to date.
    I remain quite annoyed with Tartt, though, for killing Steerforth's brother instead of Steerforth himself.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Angela C
    3/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding Literary Fiction Read by a Maestro"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Number One


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

    Donna Tartt's first book A Secret History and although I've never read Remembrance of Things Past by Proust, I have a feeling that there is some kind of similarity because of the detail. But the details are enthralling.


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

    The Hero, his mentor, his best friend and the girl he loves.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A 21st century morality tale


    Any additional comments?

    One of my favourite books. The originality of story, the extraordinarily unusual characters coupled with the depth of insight into the human condition are breathtaking and a reading that deserves an Oscar. I didn't want it to end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • HMPS64
    London, UK
    12/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Plausible storyline, pulls at your heartstrings"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    Not sure, the language is beautiful. Eloquent.


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

    The classic; Jude the Obscure. Gripping and thrilling.


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

    The accents, American, Russian, Polish, posh American ...


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "Potter"


    Any additional comments?

    Thoroughly enjoyable audio. I could not be parted for long.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    Burford, United Kingdom
    8/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not much to add, you know it's brilliant"
    Any additional comments?

    Marvellous book, with some truly great literary characters (although the hero frustrates at every turn). A modern day Oliver Twist meets David Copperfield with Great Expectations.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • steven
    4/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not worth the wait"

    Donna Tartt writes one book every ten years. Her previous “highly acclaimed novel was very disappointing and I thought I would give her one more chance. This one is definitely better. A young boy (Theo Decker) has his life changed forever when a cataclysmic event kills his mother and throws him onto the path of a dying man who steers his life into a new direction.

    He staggers from one crisis to another, trying to find or avoid family connections. He encounters every facet of American society, from the very wealthy to utterly desolate. Theo has an incomprehensible and very irritating habit of being startled into silence whenever the plot needs him not to make a very simple explanation. There are twists and turns and many, very deep introspections, including a vast retelling of a drug-induced sequence which is just tedious.

    Tartt tells a good story, but tells it too long. She cannot see the world from a male point of view, and she really does not try very hard. But she does give is two absolutely brilliant characters: Hobie, the most generous and gentle soul; and Boris – a friendly but dangerous friend. She makes Boris the narrator for much of the second half of the book. Although he has broken English she still manages to place phrases such as “cultural patrimony” in his mouth. I think the inconsistence of the characters she draws and the words they say (and the thoughts they think) ultimately sink the story.

    The finale is a tedious stretch of moralising lifted from the Disney Corporation. Written in the current American style (lots of talking, little depth, even less description) it is like watching a talk show. Fortunately there will be another 9 years before I may be tempted into trying another Tartt offering.

    The narrator is absolutely brilliant – his accents (except for the Dutch) are brilliant and consistent. I guess it is a tall order to find someone who is good at Russian and Dutch.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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