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Editorial Reviews

Thirteen-year-old Theo Decker is taken in by a wealthy family following an accident, but misses his mother terribly. Action & Adventure he grows up, all he has to remind him of her is a small, very beautiful painting which, while of enormous sentimental value to him, is also sought by all kinds of unsavoury characters. Donna Tartt’s third novel, The Goldfinch, is part thriller, part coming-of-age novel, all mystery. The audiobook is narrated by the theatrical actor David Pittu, handpicked by the author, and is available from Audible.

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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    48
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Performance

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Story

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • morag musselwhite
  • 07-09-17

wonder off the story line

found the story interesting but it would go off the story line at time and i would drift away .

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Alan Williams
  • 07-06-17

Needed an editor that wasn't afraid of her.

Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

I loved the narrator. Loved him; his Boris will be lodged in my memory forever. I would buy him reading The Adventures Of Boris installment by installment. It was a good book, great characters, good story, if way too long. Needed an editor to shout no when the author pandered to the detail of every single thing. Using the phone for example, couldn't just call, no - had to pick up the receiver, press the numbers individually, wait, listen to the ring, one, two, three, four, listen to the click, then whoever it was finally (after he'd made a cup of tea, picked his nails, decided he didn't like the way the ear-piece felt against his ear) answered, "Are they there?"
"No sorry wrong number."
"Oh, ok."
Takes phone from ear, looks at phone, puts receiver back on phone. This is an illustration, it occurs a lot in the last part. Now I love detail but so much detail where detail isn't necessary, where it doesn't add, where it is utterly pointless to the point that in the last part, I'd started groaning aloud because yet again the pace descended into more quicksand. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book a lot but for the first time in my life found myself considering that must vulgar phrase of them all - abridged.

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

In short; first part great, middle part great, third part like wading through mud, hip-high while battling a lot of unneeded detail that once read was found to be completely irrelevant and had slowed the book down. Needed an editor unafraid of shouting NO! The author, floundered a while during the last third before committing to jumping onto the final ride taking it to its conclusion. Cut at least an hour from part three. Otherwise, loved it.

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

Never heard him before but intend to actively stalk him. Loved him. Great character voices, beautiful tones, excellent pace. I'd buy any book just to hear him read. His Russian accents were so hypnotic and enjoyable I actually wanted the accent for myself.

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

Not really. I was surprised at some of the twists in it, especially in Las Vegas and enjoyed it but wouldn't say my reaction was emotional.

Any additional comments?

No. I think I was quite thorough. Thank you.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Liam Cullen
  • 06-23-17

Could have been better

This was such a promising start, and a really interesting overall story arc. The premise was really intriguing, the characters were well filled out, and I really WANTED to enjoy it more. However, the story needed, in my opinion, a really good pruning. It was overplayed in parts, and overstretched overall. The drug sections were repetitive and boring. At times it almost felt like the author had too much material, and could have written two separate stories, as it became a bit convoluted. The feeling I've been left with is a vague sense of disappointment, as this could have been a really great story. I give it 3 stars for promise, but in honesty, I probably wouldn't recommend it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • sarah
  • 06-19-17

Excellent narration

Once I managed to get into it ( about when Boris came into it ) I enjoyed it. The narration was excellent.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-15-17

Not sure it lives up to the hype

I'll be honest - I don't really get it. I found the first half excellent. Then it just descends into the self pitying whine of a boy who just needs to grow up and grow a pair. Disappointed with the second half. It started with such potential.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pauline
  • 06-02-17

very long but very enjoyable

narrator was good especially playing Boris. great story. really enjoyed but is very, very long.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 05-30-17

Worth a listen IF you have the time...

A great read / listen, with interesting, well-developed characters and a somewhat meandering plot. It is too long, though, in my opinion. I doubt I'll read another of Tartt's work anytime soon, as there are so many other books I want to read, first! This could easily have been edited down to half the length.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ms r.
  • 05-29-17

utterly compelling.

A brilliant portrayal of tragedy, loss, human weakness, love and surprise. It drags you to the bottom of despair then lifts you beyond your expectations. magnificent.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-22-17

Could be so much better

The book is good, and it is great to be able to have it in audio format, but it would be so much better if foreign words and names were pronounced correctly even if accented. Half of the time I could not understand what Russian/Polish words were used in text and had to go to the e-book version.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Úna
  • 05-19-17

An instant favourite

What did you like most about The Goldfinch?

The house full of art and furniture, I can see it so clearly.

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

Yes, it really didn't take long for me to listen to the whole thing.

Any additional comments?

Donna Tartt is one of my favourite authors. Her books are all so different from one another and from anything else. This is one of the best books I have heard or read.