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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 (359 )
5 star
 (182)
4 star
 (118)
3 star
 (41)
2 star
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1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.2 (324 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
4.5 (327 )
5 star
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4 star
 (75)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Sharron Robinvale, Australia 01-04-14
    Sharron Robinvale, Australia 01-04-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    RATINGS
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    "The Goldfinch"

    I found this book annoying on several levels. We are told of a disaster looming in Theo's life early in the book but the time taken to get to the deails of the event nearly drove me crazy. I found the narrators monotone voice nearly put me to sleep, especially bad as I was on a long drive. Finally I find books about people on a path of self destruction very irrating and the insights I got into drug induced minds wasn't for me.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neepa C 11-10-14
    Neepa C 11-10-14 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    4
    2
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    5
    Overall
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    Story
    "DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME!!!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A younger voice and other characters did not sound engaging. It was was a painful listen.


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    The story was completely disjointed, hence was not able to engage or interest. It was just a complete waste of my time.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Pittu’s performances?

    Yes.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Goldfinch?

    The book is needlessly long, with scenes not going anywhere or communicating anything that could engage.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cay.S 10-30-13
    Cay.S 10-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    50
    4
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    Story
    "Such an exquisite story, I didn't want it to end"

    David Pittu is brilliant in evoking all the different characters, and just like the painting the book has been named after, this book will remain a masterpiece to be savoured into the future.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fiatlux 08-20-14
    fiatlux 08-20-14 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    RATINGS
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    79
    2
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    0
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    Story
    "This book is not for me."
    Would you try another book from Donna Tartt and/or David Pittu?

    No for Donna Tartt and yes for David Pittu. He is a great narrator.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Donna Tartt again?

    No


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

    The Russian


    Do you think The Goldfinch needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, The Story could have been told with half the words. There was way too much description (poetry does it better) and the characters aren't that interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    Donna Tartt has an audience and some people clearly love the book but it didn't engage me. I lost interest in the story and the characters. That doesn't mean it is poorly written. There is gold in the ore but you have to work to find it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette 06-21-14
    Jeanette 06-21-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    210
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    "Well written but not enjoyable"

    There is no doubt that Donna Tartt is an excellent writer but unfortunately I found the main character to be annoying I also found parts of the story so unlikely that it was unenjoyable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Challenor Australia 01-04-14
    Diane Challenor Australia 01-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    92
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    235
    31
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    "Maaan, it's good!"

    The Goldfinch. Wow! What can I say. In the words of our Australian music guru, Molly Meldrum, I will say, guys, we have a hit on our hands. Yep, I believe this book has got to be a best seller, long term a breaker of records. Man, it's good! Plus, the narration is brilliant.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CherylAu 12-26-13
    CherylAu 12-26-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    6
    6
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    "Beautifully written"

    This is a delightfully crafted tale about choices and their consequences. The simple decision to talk to a friend while he smoked a cigarette on school grounds results in a life altering event for Theo Decker. All subsequent decisions set the stage for less than savoury entanglements. The underlying theme is about which of the myriad obvious or subtle decisions Theo makes could have changed his life's course for the better.

    Although this book is an extraordinarily long and, at times, dense with psychological detailed, at no time does the story get bogged down or seem to drag. This is the first Danna Tartt book I've 'read' but it definitely not be the last.

    The excellent narration and characterisations added another level of my enjoyment of this story.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Needles 11-20-13
    Needles 11-20-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    48
    24
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent narration brings book to life."
    What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

    David Pittu's narration. He was quite brilliant at giving voices to each character and thereby giving life to the story.


    If you’ve listened to books by Donna Tartt before, how does this one compare?

    Well I've actually read both of Tartt's earlier books (old school!). For me the last chapter breaking from the established style and delving into philosophical soliloquizing was a device that just didn't work. I don't remember this being an aspect of the earlier novels which I remember being all character and plot.


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

    James Hobart, or "Hobie"; main character's mentor


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

    Absolutely. A real "page-turner" if you can call an audio-book by that term.


    Any additional comments?

    Intriguing novel; I was completely drawn into the world of Theo for the first 3/4 of the novel. By the final quarter however I found myself somewhat alienated by the increasing preposterousness of the plot and repetitive ruminations of Boris (Pittu's narration saved the day there in my opinion), and I've already talked about the unsatisfying nature of the 'philosophical reflection' of the last chapter

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cate edwards 04-21-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    61
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    Story
    "how did this get such good reviews???"

    There are good patches of writing. But why write it? mostly miserable characters sinking lowly and repetitively into boring self obsessed darkness. Endless pages of drug and alcohol abuse with violence. Meandering plot. I found it a chore with no reward. The only good thing i got from it, is that i found one other reviewer who didn't enjoy it and she has recommendations that are interesting for me.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs Sydney, Australia 02-02-14
    Mrs Sydney, Australia 02-02-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
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    43
    5
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    "Brilliant! I highly reccomend this wonderful book."
    What did you love best about The Goldfinch?

    It was a very captivating story which never dragged. The characters were marvellous and well developed. I was never bored with it and could not wait to get back to my listen.


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

    A wonderful listen! His ability to capture the essence of the various characters through his amazing voices made this a standout listen for me. I shall definitely look out for him as a reader.


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

    I had many laugh out loud moments! Particularly with the character Boris. I have taken to calling my cat Popchick!


    Any additional comments?

    I have read several reviews elsewhere regarding this book. I was interested that some found it too long, and some were overcome by all the drug abuse. I found it interesting to see the development of Theo and Boris and how their lives intertwined. I loved it from start to finish.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • H. Lowe
    1/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "so good and so long it becomes a part of you"

    as a huge fan of the secret history but found the little friend a bit too meandering I was nervous about the goldfinch because if its length. but I needn't have worried. yes it's incredibly long but it's also so, so good. I don't know what to do now Theo is not in my life everyday!

    ignore the reviews that say the main character is unlikeable but. it's true that his best friend Boris is extremely likeable and the reader portrays all the characters brilliantly. there's so much fluidity that you forget there's anything in between you and the story. almost like it's happening directly in your mind.

    I enjoyed Zandra enormously and the whole time he is in Vegas is really special. I don't know what else to say other than if you want something so good that takes a long time to end then listen to this audio book!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • T
    Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
    4/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overly long, saved by good narration"

    Donna Tartt is a fine writer but desperately needs a strong editor to temper her enthusiasm for sheer length. This book should surely have been no more than 20 hours rather than 32 hours. To be clear, I do NOT mean it should be abridged – I mean it should have been more accurately focussed in the first place, before publication. Maintaining my attention was a problem at many points, most especially towards the end, when my own enthusiasm was waning! It says something that I did stick with it, but any joy in listening to this novel had been long lost by the time it finally got to the end.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Wadebridge, United Kingdom
    3/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great Listen"
    What did you like most about The Goldfinch?

    I loved the sensitivity of the writing, the childhood time of the main character, written with such beauty and realism in my view. I loved the way the story grew through the chapters and how there was such great depth to it. Full of great characters and I learned a lot about art too! Bonus, the descriptive writing of the painting was poetry to me.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character, he was flawed and believable.


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

    the lead character, but a close second was his best friend.


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

    Very much so it, made me laugh and cry. I didn't want him to grow up, I wasn't sure the author could hold my attention with the character as an adult, but there was no need to worry, he was just as captivating.


    Any additional comments?

    A superb listen. I highly recommend this book to both male and female readers. Great author, I look forward to reading more of this authors work.

    3 of 3 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
  • Amazon Customer
    Darlington, Australia
    7/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Existentialist. Meaning of life & all that"

    Incredible metaphor & prose. Incredible a woman writer can write so eloquently from a man's perspective. Bit too long; but I was still sad to finish it in the end. Very much a story for those who think deeply of & worry about " is there any personal meaning" to ones being alive? And when life is a struggle, lonely, painful is it worth fighting on? For what? That kind of genre. Could be a bit depressing for those who experience that their affluence, success, or whatever still leaves a hollow that cannot be filled.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Detritus
    6/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely slow and laborious story telling"
    Would you try another book written by Donna Tartt or narrated by David Pittu?

    No.


    What was most disappointing about Donna Tartt’s story?

    Whilst the story itself is not uninteresting, all the events unfold so slowly and with such lengthy narrative that I found myself continually saying from frustration: "Get on with it!" In the end I found I had little sympathy, or indeed any patience for Theo, the main character. I don't mind a long story, but what felt like the endless narrative took away from the plot and by about half way through it wasn't difficult to determine where the plot was leading.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by David Pittu?

    Maybe.


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

    The secondary characters and their stories are well created and interesting. Unfortunately they weren't enough though.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • jon de bolt
    united kingdom
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic."

    A beautiful Novel that only comes around once a Decade.
    Read it, you'll be drawn in.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • walter
    4/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    As an exploration of trauma, moral minefields and the transformative qualities of art its genius. Though the long subjective journey may upset some folks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs F.
    4/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gold star for The Goldfinch"

    I would give 6 stars! David Pittu narrates brilliantly. Fabulous story with many twists. I would highly recommend this book, better than my expectations of it and don't be put off by the length.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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